“Almost 13 years to the day since 3 guests arrived at Wayfarers on Vespa’s, embarked on an 8,500km Charity Ride to raise funds for The Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, did a lone adventurer check-in for the night, his only source of transport is a bicycle, albeit a rather sophisticated one, which was taking Matthew Caretti on a round trip of 3,000kms from Pretoria, singlehandedly, in support of, and to promote the work being done in Lesotho by Hands of Life,” Chris Colverd, Wayfarers Guesthouse said.
This is an organisation, founded in 2012 by Tshepo Nkhabu when he was just 16 years of age, with the vision that “Giving is the mother of all successes!” Tshepo was aware that the young people in his community of Mafeteng, in Lesotho, had no safe place to go after school or during other free times where they could engage with one another to grow, learn and develop. Tshepo has a passion for cycling and sport, and he knew the life-changing impact these activities can have for anybody, but in particular the youth. Cycling in the beautiful mountain Kingdom of Lesotho has the potential to increase both self-discipline and confidence. It empowers the participants, who otherwise may turn to crime and other anti-social past times.*
Tshepo applied to the US Peace Corps for a volunteer to assist the organisation in its efforts to grow and to achieve its objectives, and in 2015 The Peace Corps, recognising the potential of “Hands of Life”, sent Skyland Woll from Florida to work with and assist the organisation to grow and to reach its full potential. Hundreds of Cycles have now been donated to the cause, enabling Tshepo to travel across both Lesotho and South Africa, leading the youth on cycling trips, teaching and training them in bicycle maintenance.
Tshepo, now nineteen years old, has already accomplished an amazing list of feats. He has established the organization of Hands of Life, has donated and sold hundreds of bicycles to the community, and he currently runs a regular radio program promoting health and sports. He has travelled across Lesotho and South Africa and leads youth on cycling trips, teaching them and training them in cycling and bicycle maintenance. It is awe-inspiring to see how many will come to his home office looking for bikes, or will flock to him to cycle, play, work on bikes, or to organize activities. This is already more than many believed was possible, but Tshepo’s dream is still growing.
“Others are obviously involved in driving the Organisation forward, and one such person is Matthew Caretti, of Italian/German descent, who hails from Mercersburg PA, and who has spent some years in Africa, involved in such good causes, and was also from the US Peace Corps. Matthew expects to finish his epic journey, which will take him via Barberton, through Swaziland to Lesotho, and ultimately across the Free State and back to Pretoria by June 10, 2019. Good Luck Matthew with the Sani Pass! From there he will swap his vacation for his vocation, in a new posting in Malaysia teaching English as a Foreign Language. It was refreshing to talk to and share the experiences of such a selfless person, what a great example to all of us!” Chris Colverd said.
*Information and photo from Hands of Life web page.