Citizenship - An African adventure

24th February 2012 at 00:00

What's it all about?

Imagine if 41 per cent of your class were absent from school. In Africa, that is the staggering proportion of children aged 5-14 who are deprived of any education and forced to work, according to a Unicef report released last year.

In the past decade, positive changes have been made to legislation, and the growth of fair trade products and cooperatives has given thousands of children around the globe a brighter future. But millions continue to slip through the net, living in squalor on the street without even basic necessities.

It was this fact that inspired Gareth Morris to take a year-long sabbatical from his work as a primary teacher. In August last year, he set off with a team of four like-minded people to ride the 12,000 miles from London to Cape Town with charity Cycle Africa. The aim is to raise awareness of the work of a host of charities to help street children, and to raise funds to support their work.

Unexpected success

What nobody expected was that two soft toys - Dino and Lion - would become celebrities. They became inimitable ice-breakers with the street children and incredibly popular with British pupils back home. That's how they ended up with their own blog, updated every Friday, where they write a profile of each country they visit.

The blog is a way to share with younger pupils the experiences of the street children and charity workers they meet, the food they eat, the buildings they see and the languages they hear. And, of course, there are photos of them on their international travels.

Find out more

For more information, visit the blog at or go to Twitter @dinoandlion. For the Cycle Africa team, visit or Twitter @cycleafrica.

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