Support South Sudan with 100-mile cycle ride

Some 25,000 riders are expected on the 2017 London-Surrey 100
Some 25,000 riders are expected on the 2017 London-Surrey 100

Jesuit Missions (JM) is inviting you to get on your bike to help raise funds for communities that it supports overseas. JM has secured five places in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 2017 event, which is taking place on 30 July 2017.

The 100-mile route begins at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and takes in some of the most beautiful Surrey countryside on the way before ending on The Mall. Around 25,000 cyclists are expected to take part, raising money for their chosen charities. This year, Jesuit Missions is offering five brave riders the chance to support its vital work in South Sudan.

Alongside Jesuit Refugee Services, Jesuit Missions is supporting education for children and adults in a region devastated by conflict. By providing school supplies and financial assistance, JM is ensuring that refugees and host communities in South Sudan have safe spaces to learn and grow.

Richard Greenwood of Jesuit Missions says: "The ride is always a fun day out. But it's also a great opportunity to support people in an extremely vulnerable situation. The money you raise will help one of the most vulnerable countries in the world."

Concrete action for food aidRefugees assisted by a JRS West Africa Education Programme: Jacquelyn Pavilon/JRS

The World Food Programme (WFP) says that a million people are on the brink of famine in the region, with United Nations agencies warning that war and a collapsing economy have left 100,000 people facing starvation.The Jesuits have been working in particular among the tens of thousands of children and teachers in Sudanese refugee camps, providing education and an alternative to recruitment as child soldiers. Last month, Pope Francis added his voice to the needs of the population of South Sudan. He demanded concrete action to get food aid to famine victims, saying words are not enough to prevent millions from being condemned to death by hunger. "At this time it's more necessary than ever for everyone to not just stop with words, but to take concrete action so that food aid can reach suffering populations," he said.

The London-Surrey 100 is not the only public sporting event over the coming months in which JM is involved. On Sunday 23 April, the Jesuit Missions team will be taking part in the London Marathon, also helping to raise funds for their education projects in South Sudan.

You can find out more about the ride from the Prudential RideLondon website. And if you would like to take on the RideLondon-Surrey challenge as part of team Jesuit Missions on 30 July, email richard@jesuitmissions.org.uk