9,000 miles on a motorbike

9,000 miles on a motorbike

Late last year, Helston resident, Steve Houghton, returned from a 9,234 mile adventure through Africa. He travelled the whole journey on his motorbike visiting his Compassion sponsored children along the way.

Steve’s expedition lasted three months. Along the way he visited various charities he had volunteered at over the years, including projects run by Christian Child Development Charity, Compassion UK. Steve has supported Compassion for over 15 years and visited 8 different Compassion projects during his trip, where he met his sponsored children: Obed (22) from Uganda and Joseph (18) from Tanzania, as well as those sponsored by his church congregation, Helston Baptist church.

“In July 2015 I reached the age of 60 and became eligible to retire early from my job. I had spent 40 years in the military. I decided to pick up a dream that began in 2013. I had been waiting in a queue at the barber’s and picked up a motorbike magazine. Its cover photo was a man on a motorbike travelling down a road in Uganda, and although I hadn’t owned a bike for more than 30 years, I thought “What a great way to travel around Africa.” And then I wondered if I could also visit two of the children I had sponsored through Compassion in Uganda and Tanzania as well,” Steve, from Cornwall, explains.

Children that attend Compassion projects receive an education and are given access to nutrition, medical care and emotional support. Compassion UK works with over 1.7 million children around the world. Working in partnership with the local church, they seek out the most vulnerable children and, with the support of individual sponsors, provide them with the means to break the cycle of poverty and create a viable future.

“One of the most moving visits was to 16-year-old Gladys from Tanzania. I had visited 20 children, eight projects in four countries, but it was this visit that most brought a lump to my throat. It was a 40km drive down dirt roads to get there. The area was dried up and waiting for rain. Gladys lived in a house with a beaten mud floor, mud walls and a straw roof. The nearest electricity and water supplies were 500 metres away. I had travelled over 500km off my route but it was worth every metre to tell this child that she is precious and to tell the local project staff that they are doing a great work by bringing education, health, food and spiritual guidance to the children of this community. You cannot put a price on the hope and the possibilities that are now open to these children even, if they live at the end of the road to nowhere,” reflects Steve.

Compassion UK

Words by Compassion UK


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Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.