Mission Benin partnered with the Beninese Biking Federation, a local telecom company, and several environmental NGOs to organize its first ever “Bike for the Planet” event on May 15. Sixty participants competed, racing along a sandy beach road 25 miles from Ouidah to Cotonou.
The initiative rallied young Beninese around a new sport while promoting environmentally-friendly behaviors and furthering youth outreach and environmental activism. Participants planted trees before and after the race to highlight the importance of tree planting for blocking wind, protecting soil, serving as fuel and building material, and creating green spaces. The event’s closing ceremony also served as a platform for a “Green Fair” in which local artists displayed works of art made of recycled materials including a large plastic boat.