History of the Ride
How the Ride For Gutu Mission Hospital Started
In 2022, Dr. Peter Agwa had an idea. Having participated in a few fundraising rides, he wondered if he could raise funds for EMAS Canada for a cause dear to him. That cause was the plight of the mothers and babies at Gutu Mission Hospital in Zimbabwe.
What began as a germ of an idea, sprouted into the inaugural ride from Burlington to Ottawa.
The intrepid cyclists took to the road and braved wind and rain to reach their destination because they wanted to make a difference. They trained together and prepared for the event which took place from September 12 – 16th, 2022. A goal of $45,000 was set as their target for funds to go towards putting on a conference to equip local healthcare professionals in Gutu District in order to improve the odds of better outcomes for mothers and infants.
This epic event was called the Ride For Gutu Mission Hospital, to raise funds and create awareness of the need to support Gutu Mission Hospital in its efforts to reduce maternal mortality in Gutu District. That was a big task; but they started small by investing in the skills of the district health workers for managing obstetric and neonatal emergencies. EMAS Canada co-hosted a medical conference with the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe from October 30th to November 6th, 2022.
Every donation, large or small brought them closer to the goal to improving the maternity ward at the hospital so that the maternal mortality rate can improve in the area and give the mothers and babies the best chance of thriving.
Gutu hospital staff is hard working and has adapted well to working under difficult conditions and chronic shortages. It aspires to excellence, attaining good standards of cleanliness and patient care , but is restricted by budgetary constraints, unserviceable and unreliable equipment, and aging infrastructure.
Maternity is the busiest department at GMH and that is our focus because the risk of dying from pregnancy-related factors in Zimbabwe is much worse than in Canada.
On their arrival in Ottawa at the Zimbabwean Embassy, the cyclists and their support team were greeted and congratulated by the Ambassador of Zimbabwe.
Thank you to all those who supported the 2022 Ride for Gutu Mission Hospital.
The vision didn't stop there, and we invite you to come along on the journey with us as our cyclists ride again in 2023 both here in Ontario and in Zimbabwe.
Watch our 2022 RIDE FOR GUTU MISSION HOSPITAL wrap up video below and relive the fun moments with us.