Diary & Travel Reports from the saddle
Motorcycle Outreach Revs Up - 26 April 2004
Motorcycle Outreach revs up with 501(c)(3) status Mixing motorcycles with malaria control and midwifery gets a green light from US tax authorities. The USA’s Internal Revenue Service ruled that Motorcycle Outreach (MOR) officially qualifies as a 501(c)(3) in a letter dated 24th March 2004. This means that donations made in the USA are tax deductible and opens the door for official project funding.
MOR promotes motorcycle solutions in the delivery of basic health services for mothers and babies in the world’s developing areas. It was formed in Ohio USA in 1992 by Robert Rasor, Timothy Owens and Simon Milward. Resulting from North American donations in 2001/2, it supports the non governmental organization Health for All. This initiative manages 12 Yamaha 115s used by ministry health workers to serve 55 villages on the remote Indonesian island of Flores.
Simon Milward said, “I am very proud to work with fellow motorcyclists and institutions in the USA to bring this great and needed service to fellow human beings.” MOR is now positioned to bridge the sustainability gap by bringing motorcycles and/or maintenance systems to needy areas. A new Latin American initiative called Motos Pro Salud (Motorcycles Pro Health) is being launched this year with potential projects in northern Argentina, Ecuador, southern Mexico and Paraguay. The Latin initiative will be based on the highly successful African system run by Riders for Health who will train Latinos in 2004.
MOR also expects to promote investment in a new fleet of motorcycle taxis in Flores Indonesia which will sustain the existing 12 health motorcycles.
Meanwhile last week the Ducati Owners Club in Melbourne Australia pledged the cost of one motorcycle plus three years’ maintenance for the Ecuador project coordinated by Ricardo Rocco in Quito. Milward commented, “The Ducati Club donation sets a new standard and a good example for the likes of the World Bank, which acts as though vehicles run themselves.”
MOR welcomes other clubs, businesses and associations interested in sponsoring motorcycles and maintenance together for projects in Ecuador and Paraguay.
It is great news about the tax status. Things have come together a lot in the last couple of weeks for the Motos Pro Salud initiative. Last Friday I met Gerardo Solà, a motorcycling doctor who pledged to take charge of things in Argentina a country with the biggest gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. At the weekend Carlos Gonzales and his son Charlie came down here from Asuncion in Paraguay all I can say is watch this space, we are going to have a motorcycle revolution. Furthermore Andres Rodriguez in Guadalajara Mexico is now finding a solution to the need for a Mexican branch of Motos Pro Salud to launch the project in the state of Oaxaca. It’s my fault that we lost a year on that one, but it is better late than never.
What now? I am almost ready for Africa. I will try to clear my hotmail in box more than several days work. Arrange the carnet, the costly paperwork enabling me to temporarily import my bike, many thanks to the RAC for their help. My mother is sending new credit cards after I lost one and a bank swallowed the other. I await firm prices from South African and Malaysian Airlines to take me across the Atlantic, the normal price is about $1,700. I wanted to take a boat but can’t find one to take me with the bike and the boat cargo price is only $100 less than the air cargo price.
I fixed up the bike by rebuilding and making a part for the rear wheel and welding the frame up, all I need now is a new set of shocks absorbers to prepare for those African roads.
Ah yes, do I need a visa for South Africa?
Better had find out… Simon
Simon Milward, on the road
A solo fundraising round the world ride on a handmade motorcycle. Supporting Doctors Without Borders, Motorcycle Outreach and democracy.
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