Two Aberdeen men have completed their 251-mile physical fundraising challenge on behalf of the Gathimba Edwards Foundation.
Robert Gordon’s College teacher financial manager Mat Northcroft and Andrew Crichton, cycled from Duthie Park in Aberdeen to Edinburgh, swam in the Royal Commonwealth Pool and cycled back to Aberdeen in 24 hours, completing their challenge at 2.30am the following morning.
The 43 year-old duo were inspired to tackle this incredible feat after hearing the heartbreaking story of one young Kenyan girl.
In July 2016 as she walked home from school she was raped by a foreign construction worker, later discovering she was pregnant as a result.
Sadly, her suffering continued in March this year when she was travelling by matatu with her mum Lucy and 11-year-old brother Peter when a lorry crashed into them. Her mum and brother both lost their lives that day and the girl herself found their broken bodies in the wreckage.
Somehow the girl and her baby survived, with baby Lucy being born 4 weeks ago.
The man who raped her is currently out on bail and may go free as a result of the girl’s family not being able to afford the legal fees required to try and bring him to justice.
Mat and Andrew are hoping to get justice for the girl and see man who raped her jailed for a long time. They are also hoping that the court will hold him or his company responsible for baby Lucy’s needs and education costs for life, as well as provide counselling and a nanny so that the girl can go back to school next year and enable her to move to a safe location.
“Every year I try to take on one challenge to raise money for Gathimba and normally it’s a challenge that pushes me out of my comfort zone.
“Myles Edwards, the founder, brought this story to my attention and it really affected me.
“The discomfort we’re going to go through is nothing compared to what these children face every day.
“Everyone has a story to tell and I feel if we help the Kenyan community, it’s helping them with their own future and further investing in their country.”
– Mat Northcroft
Aberdeen based Gathimba Edwards Foundation provides disadvantaged children in Kenya with support and opportunities.
The money Mat and Andrew have raised will support the girl’s legal costs as well as general support because she also lost both her mother and brother in a car accident earlier this year.
“‘It’s horrific’ is your first reaction when you hear about it.
“Even though I didn’t know her story before, I want to raise as much money as possible for this girl.”
– Andrew Crichton
Initially, the pair set out to raise £1,000 but have smashed that with the total at the time of writing being over three times as much.
If you would like to support their fundraising heroics, you can still do so on their TotalGiving page.