Justin Has Challenged Himself to Change Lives

Justin Has Challenged Himself to Change Lives

Justin Woolford from Bristol has challenged himself to ride in the Etape Du Tour to raise money for Deki. We asked him a few questions about what motivated him and why he loves Deki:

1) What is the Etape du Tour and Why have you decided to take on this challenge?

L’Étape du Tour is one of the most famous cycling ‘sportives’ in the world and gives amateurs the chance to take on a mountain stage of the Tour de France. This year it follows what will be Stage 19 of the Tour proper, covering 142km and climbing about 4,500m, most notably up one of the classic Alpine climbs, Col du Glandon. What’s really special is that it takes place during the Tour itself, on a Sunday / rest day before the pros do the Stage, and is supported by closed roads and the whole entourage of the main Tour. So there should be a lot of local people out on the route celebrating and offering encouragement which we’ll need on the big climbs.

2) How much training has gone into preparing for the race?

About six months of hard graft! And a lot of cycling around Somerset, up and down the Mendips and the Peak District, and in Majorca. By the time of the race on July 19th, I will have covered about 3,500 miles, spent more than 250 hours on the bike, and lost about 15kg! Majorca earlier this month was a training highlight with lots of mountain climbs and stunning scenery. I recommend Sa Calobra for anyone who wants to try the perfect climb! It even has a hairpin bend that goes over and underneath itself …

3) You have decided you want the money raised to go towards lending, why do you love lending?

They say that helping others is one of the keys to happiness. And helping others to help themselves though a microloan is a particularly good way of doing that. What’s special about lending through Deki is that it’s possible to choose exactly to whom you’d like to lend, and then see them prosper and repay the loan so it can be invested again in another Deki entrepreneur.

4) How would you describe Deki to those that don’t know about us?

I thought about this when I put my JustGiving page together because I knew that quite a few of my supporters wouldn’t be from Bristol or know anything about Deki, and I came up with the following: “Deki is a Bristol-based person-to-person microfinance charity that invests in ethical entrepreneurs in developing countries like Malawi, Ghana and Nepal. Via microloans, Deki lets people like you and me invest directly in hardworking people in developing countries who want to make something of their lives, feed their families and send their children to school, by growing their businesses. They then repay their microloans, enabling us to reinvest in another business, and so on until the whole world is happy and poverty is history.”

Thanks Justin! You can still donate to Justin’s Just Giving page by clicking this link.

If you would like to challenge yourself to change lives then email our Fundraising Director Dawn at Deki@deki.org.uk