The Bicycle Tour Company was featured on Fox 61 News at Ten




Kent Good Times Dispatch                                 previous page
Kent School teachers to ride for orphanage
May 30, 2008
By: Kathryn Boughton

No Limits Bike Ride 2008 Blog

It is a long way from the cool, green campus of Kent School to the environs of Arusha, Tanzania. In Kent there is privilege, ready access to advanced education and a promising future. In Arusha, for many unwanted children, life is short and brutal.

But the Living Water Children Center, founded in 2003 by the Kimaro family, is working to give those unfortunate children a chance for a better life, one filled with loving support and an education.

Anza-Amen Kimaro, founder and director, explained the genesis of the center on the agency's Web site. He said that in 1998 he encountered a boy in "a very desperate condition." Talking to the boy he realized he was an orphan living on the streets of Arusha and took him home to his family. That encounter opened Mr. Kimaro's eyes to the plight of many children in the region who are orphaned or abandoned by their families and society.

"The experience of staying with this lovely boy touched our lives and we started thinking about how many unlucky orphaned children were living under miserable conditions," he wrote on his Web site. "... The number of orphans is increasing in different parts of the Arusha region and the major cause ... is the HIV/AIDS pandemic. ... Some children have nowhere to go and are in urgent need of a new family where they can be brought up. [Some] mothers throw children away right after birth. Such children end up living in the streets, if they survive at all."

Most of the orphaned children have no access to education or health care. They are often abused physically and sexually and are rejected by their extended families and society at large. The Kimaros decided to do something to change this, founding their center to house and educate 33 orphans, ages 2 to 15. Another 25 children from the neighborhood attend the school daily.

The center is entirely founded through private donations and is assisted by help from American supporters, including educators who help with the children's instruction. Last summer one of those instructors was Robert Diehl, a second-year math teacher at Kent School. "The two and a half weeks spent there was a life-changing experience for me," he said. "The students in the orphanage blew me away with their desire to learn and to 'better themselves' with schooling. Although we were adults volunteering, they were their own family. They took care of themselves, but they welcomed us into their lives."

He spoke of one young man, Emanuel, who had suffered severe head injuries in a car accident. "He's beautiful," Mr. Diehl said. "Emanuel is missing a piece of his skull right now and the Kimaros are trying to get an operation for him. I'm a math teacher and he loves math. One afternoon, for two hours straight, I made up problems and he was solving them like it was the greatest thing he could imagine."

Mr. Diehl said that when the family opened the center it never dreamed that in a short time their home and building would not be able to accommodate the growing need to accept more children. To meet that need, the family located a five-acre parcel of land in Arusha and was able to purchase it through private donations. Now funds are being raised for a new, larger school.

That is where Mr. Diehl hopes Americans will help. On June 6, he and two other friends will begin a 3787-mile bicycle trek from Yorktown, Va., to San Francisco, Calif., to spread awareness of the center and to raise funds for the school. Along the way the riders will give presentations at schools, churches and any other organizations that cares to listen. The riders hope to raise $50,000.

"We're really excited and want to raise as much money as we can," said Mr. Diehl. "We have about $8,000 right now. We have a poster board and Power Point presentation and we hope to speak to many groups along the way.

Mr. Diehl said the idea for the ride came from Samantha Mangum, also a second-year teacher at Kent School. Ms. Magnum suffered a near-fatal automobile accident and during her recovery set goals for herself when she regained her health. "Climbing Kilimanjaro was the first goal she ticked off," he recounted. "After two and a half weeks at the Living Waters Children Center, she said she found peace there. Those children helped restore peace and faith within her and she decided what better way to honor them then to spread the word about the center and to raise money for it."

The young teachers are combining Ms. Mangum's second goal, a bicycle trip across the U.S. with the fund-raising effort. "She asked me to join her because I had volunteered there," he reported, "but she is the sparkplug."

Cheryl Setchell, yet again a second-year Kent School teacher, will be the third rider. Driving the support vehicle on the first 11 days of the trip will be Mr. Diehl's mother, Sharon, and a fourth second-year Kent School teacher, Jesse Minneman. Laura and Garrison Smith, with their three children, will take over the support vehicle for the second 10-days, with Mr. Garrison, Kent School's ecology teacher, riding with the core team. For the final and longest leg of the journey, Ms. Mangum parents, Roger and Mollie Mangum of San Antonio, Tex., will drive the vehicle.

The group will camp along the way and has gotten food donations from a variety of sources, including Davis IGA in Kent. Cannondale is supplying biking equipment, as is the Bicycle Tour Company in Kent.

"Now we want to the spread word and hopefully people can give to these children," concluded Mr. Diehl.

Those who wish to send donations can send them to Living Water Children Centre Foundation (Tax ID 26-201358) located at 401 East 34th Street, Apartment S25 in New, NY 10016. Please note on your check that it is for the "No Limits" initiative. For more information about the center go to (

previous page




 PO. BOX 381
 KENT, CT 06757

      TEL - 888-711-KENT
FAX - 860-927-1976

sAmerican Express, Diners Club, Visa, and MasterCard accepted

bike1nav.gif (1556 bytes)