As the momentum around COP21 starts to build, we wanted to feature the story of a group that is literally setting the wheels in motion for a climate resilient future. Read on to know more about the Pan Africa Cycling Caravan for Climate Justice, an epic journey of 6,500 kilometres across nine countries undertaken by individuals committed to change climate change.

Q: Hi, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
My name is Benson Ireri, and I work for Christian Aid as the Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer on Climate Change for our Africa Programme.  I came into this work because I learnt very quickly that the poorest and most vulnerable people in my home country of Kenya were suffering the impacts of climate change, losing their ways of life and even life itself, and that little was being done about it. 

I am passionate about raising the voice of African people in the fight against climate change, and in challenging our leaders in Africa and across the globe to be ambitious, so that people can continue to live a full life no-matter which part of the planet they live in, without fear of global warming, drought, flood and sea-level rise.

Q: Awareness is the first step to raising one’s voice. So how do you raise awareness on an issue like climate change?
I have been working in a team of people on the ACT Now for Climate Justice Campaign with We Have Faith and PACJA, and with support from a huge number of national and international organisations to gather one million signatures for our petition, demanding an ambitious, fair and legally binding deal to be reached in Paris in 2015.

To involve people from the grassroots and all walks of life in Africa, a continent that is on the front lines of climate change, we have organised the Pan African Youth Cycling Caravan for Climate Justice - an epic journey of 6,500 kilometres across nine African countries, that will climax in Nairobi in November 2015. Even as I speak, dozens of cyclists are crossing mountains, valleys and savannahs, stopping in different cities and villages; meeting thousands of people along the way to talk about climate change and the need to join forces to demand climate action. 





Q: What set the wheels in motion for the Cycling Caravan?
It all started at the end of August in Mozambique where the cyclists were sent off from our partner and Climate Ambassador Suzanne Matale (pictured below), from the National Council of Churches of Zambia, as well as government officials before hitting the road.








Amongst the cyclists volunteering to do parts of the route is 74 year-old Victor Countries, or Tata Victor as he is known to his fellow cyclists, who has cycled from Nkomazi, South Africa to Lobatse, Botswana: over 700 kilometres! Victor says: ‘When I was young, summer was summer, winter was winter, but now when it rains, it can cause havoc these days’. Like other African campaigners, he believes that this campaign is vital to spread the word about climate justice.

‘Cycling for me is like a prayer, showing that I am committed through taking action’, he adds.

We have also received support from individuals who want to join the cause when they hear about the initiative. For example, in Zimbabwe H.E. Laurent Delahousse, the French Ambassador to Zimbabwe and Malawi joined the cycling team and local school children in planting trees at a school. 







Q: How can people reading this blog help? 
Please join the campaign. Visit the official website at, the We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice Facebook page or follow the campaign on Twitter: @ActNowForCJ

The petition in Africa not only calls for world leaders to deliver action on climate change, but also stresses that African leaders must secure funds for adapting to the impact of climate change and to meet the needs of women as well as men.