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Update: misión cumplida - Email from Dr. Gerardo Solá .....more»


DOCV Motorcycles Donation
Official Delivery in Buenos Aires 26th December 2005

On 26th December 2005 Ralph & Mary Ann were proud representatives of the Ducati Owners Club of Victoria Inc at a modest ceremony in Buenos Aires Argentina. The DOCV committee had been pursuing involvement with a overseas aid project that actively worked with motorcycles since 2003/4. The committee of that time initially pursued the establishment of a Riders for Health (see www.riders.org) type project in the mountains of southern Ecuador. Unfortunately this project was still-born. Another opportunity presented in the form of Medical Non-Government, not-for-profit organisation Pilotos Solidarios (Riders with Common Goals).

The official handover of the two donated road/trail Honda NX 125 Bros models, colour 'rossi' to the Argentinean NGO Fundación Pilotos Solidarios is shown above. Photos & specifications of the bikes can be viewed here.

Pilotos Solidarios has a website at http://www.pilotosolidarios.com.ar/ you may need to use a web translation to comprehend the mostly Spanish format. The homepage has a link to the DOCV site. All members of Pilotos Solidarios are volunteers and unsalaried, committing their time to address the health of remote poor and indigenous communities in northern Argentina.

The above photo shows from L to R.
1. Mary Ann Jackson who accompanied Ralph on the one month trip to Argentina, Ecuador & Colombia.

2. Elizabeth Fleck has worked with Dr. Gerardo Solá in the Hospital de Clínicas since 1999. She is the organizer of meetings, public relations and fundraising for the Fundación.

3. María Pasini is a/the leading female motocross rider in Argentina. She is a professional motorcycle trainer who will train medical/health volunteers on riding and maintenance before they use the bikes to reach rural areas. She contributes funds from her riding academy to support Pilotos Solidarios.

4. Centrally behind the two crated bikes is Mario Sztein, proprietor of Olivos Motos who kindly allowed a generous reduction on the normal retail price of the two bikes. This was of great service to offset a price increase that occurred during the several months of negotiation between DOCV and Pilotos Solidarios and the inevitable delays due to red tape.

5. Gerardo Solá; President of Fundación Pilotos Solidarios. Medical doctor, 50 years old.Orthopaedic oncology surgeon. Director of The Tissue Bank for Human Transplantation at the British Hospital of B. Aires. Personally selected by the late Simon Milward to establish a Riders for Health project to help of isolated rural inhabitants of Latin America. Trained during November 2004 in ‘zero breakdown’ motorcycle health delivery by Willy Ballawala of Health for All Indonesia who established the first such project outside Africa on the island of Flores Indonesia.

6. Ralph Green DOCV representative at the ceremony.

Not Shown: Dr. Carlos Pacheco; 71 years old. He is the Secretary of the Fundación. Medical Doctor in Paediatrics. Experienced motorcycle rider who works as a Counsellor in the Health Ministry,plus an increasing number of volunteers with qualifications in dentistry, ophthalmology, public health sanitation, etc. As previously mentioned all are volunteers. So far Gerardo has been making monthly trips north to the regions of Santiago del Estero and extremely isolated Indian communities high in the Andean mountains near Salta. These take up about a week of the volunteer teams time and have so far been mostly funded at Gerardo Sola’s own expense. Fortunately now that the Fundación is receiving an increasing amount of acknowledgement in the Argentinean and Latin American press (spurred by the press release of the DOCV donation) there is some prospect of this personal financial burden being relieved.

Although my time in BA was short – a jetlagged two days – I was able to speak extensively with Gerardo and Elizabeth on the evening of the 26th December thanks to a dinner invitation at Gerardo’s parent’s apartment in the B.A. neighbourhood of Las Cañitas. After this enjoyable interaction I can confidently assure the DOCV that the club’s donations have been gratefully received by a dedicated and talented team. Who have a completely professional and multi-disciplinary approach to addressing the misery of disease and primary health problems amongst some of the most isolated and service deprived groups in Latin America. Gerardo is a man of considerable abilities, knowledge and professional accomplishments. A high achiever, excellent communicator who is able motivate others through his own selfless actions. A good example of how the Fundación operates is given by the following examples:

During the spring and summer in Santiago del Estero the local communities are exposed to increased numbers of active venomous snakes inevitably resulting in bites. The team’s solution was to advise wearing of gaiters made of leather – a material readily available. Further to this, several snakes were trapped by Gerardo’s team, taken back to B.A. and delivered to a serum laboratory to assess the viability of developing an anti-venom.

When it was discovered that the water supply had high levels of arsenic that seep in from naturally occurring deposits in the region’s rocks, Gerardo asked a sanitation engineer to visit with the team who is now working on a simple cheap water filter that will trap the poison.

The DOCV will be receiving regular reports from Pilotos Solidarios keeping the club up to date with the NGOs activities including the use of the donated motorcycles. Further donations of a personal nature or from other motorcycle clubs or organisations are welcome. A fleet of bikes would be the ideal. Sponsors / donors should get in touch with the DOCV www.docv.org or email Ralph Green

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14th November 2006    Update: misión cumplida - Email from Dr. Gerardo Solá

Delivery Group Group

Dear friends:
your two motorbikes are working in the forests of Santiago del Estero. The 11 and 12 of november they started their mission. One of them is working for 3 communities: El Desbastadero, El Tableado, San Felipe. ( if you need , I can send to you the Waypoints) The other one is working for 4 comunities: LA Manga, Anca Overa, Manisnioj and Moradito.

During this year, we spent these months talking with the comunities, looking for the best leaders to learn how to manage them, zero break down philosophy, comunity acceptance and organization, relations between comunities and the legal aspects of the use of the mbk. We waited until each groupof comunities were enough organized in all the aspects.

Each comunitie is about 25 families, with 9 to 10 people each family.They are separated for about 10 to 25 km from each other. They need to walk those distances to go to the meetings and discuss what
to do.

They have some new skills; they must teach to drive the mbks to WOMEN; something very hard to understand for them. Our idea is that the mbk will help their development in all the senses.And everybody should be prepared to drive them. It must be used for all the comunities activities, as for example carry someone ill, or go to buy medicines, or get out from the forest, or to visit the sick people every day. Each one works every day just passing through each comuniitie, asking if there is anything they need to do with it.

In the ceremonies of the Mbk were present two ladies from Moto Medics International, NGO from the US, Ohio; Miss Beatrice Doherty and Miss Linda Hyde, who will start contacting you in the following days, trying to explain in English what they saw and think, and follow your example, and trying to show everybody of the Motorbiker comunity of USA, what Club Ducati from Australia was able to do for our people. We all hope that your help and example, will be copied by a lot ofother Clubs, folllowing yours.

I promise in a few days to send the best pictures of the people receiving the mbks. I lost my camera, and I need the volunteers to copy their pictures for you. This can take some days. Thanks a lot, and of course I wish you could come to Santiago del Estero to see by your own what goals we are achiving with your infinite kindness and humanity.

Thanks in my name and thanks in the name of all these forgotten people.

Gerardo Solá

Gerardo Village Bike
Ducatic Club of Victoria Pilotos Solidarios Riders for Health Riders for Health MotoMedics International