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Two old varsity friends and doctors are on a motorcycle adventure across the continent that’ll take them 16,000 km. Fuelled by a desire to bring fresh water to rural communities, the ‘healers on wheels’ Dr. Jean Cooper and Dr. De Witt Oosthuizen are gearing up for what could be the impact of a lifetime.


Villeria, South Africa (15 September 2023) — In an awe-inspiring journey that epitomizes adventure, compassion, and the relentless pursuit of a greater purpose, two extraordinary friends, Dr Jean Cooper and Dr De Witt Oosthuizen, are gearing up to traverse the rugged landscapes of Africa for a worthy cause— ‘healers on wheels’.

Pictured above: Dr. Jean Cooper and Dr. De Witt Oosthuizen

This daring motorcycle expedition, spanning three months and 20 countries, is not just a quest for thrill but a monumental effort to bring fresh water to rural South African villages. They have dubbed their journey “Expedition H2O: Back to Basics,” and it promises to be an unforgettable odyssey.

Dr. Jean Cooper, a seasoned management consultant and industrial psychologist, and Dr. De Witt Oosthuizen, a dedicated medical doctor, are the driving forces behind this remarkable endeavour.

Both born in 1977, their paths crossed at the University of Pretoria’s Sonop Residence, forging a friendship based on shared dreams of adventure and a profound commitment to helping others.

For Dr. Cooper, this journey signifies a transition from mentoring top executives to pursuing a purpose larger than himself.

“You have to start living and striving for something bigger than yourself at some point,” he affirms. His involvement in Direct Transact’s Ezenzeleni Water Project, a registered public benefit organization, set the stage for this life-changing expedition.

Pictured above: Dr. Jean Cooper and Dr. De Witt Oosthuizen

For Dr. Oosthuizen, whose medical qualifications include rural medicine, this expedition is a chance to make a difference in the lives of those in need.

Covering a staggering 16,000 kilometres, Jean and De Witt aim to raise a remarkable R3.2 million through a crowdfunding campaign. For every R700 raised, one person gains reliable daily access to water, while every R2800 provides an entire family with this essential resource. Achieving their goal means bringing water access to a whole community of 4,800 people.

Their journey will commence this Saturday from Trax Moto KTM in Silver Lakes, Pretoria. Over the next three months, they will chart a course along the West Coast of Africa, ultimately reaching Madrid, Spain. Their chosen route, based on advice from seasoned truck drivers, promises safer roads through Africa.

What makes this expedition even more heartwarming is their commitment to installing 100 rainwater tanks in rural Free State communities that lack easy access to fresh water. These tanks will be a lifeline, ensuring a sustainable source of clean water for these deserving communities.

Pictured above: Community member in rural Free State.

Their crowdfunding campaign in support of Direct Transact’s Ezenzeleni Water Project has already raised over R356,000! The organisation, rooted in a deep moral duty to make a meaningful difference in the world, embodies the essence of their mission.

This dynamic duo, armed with two Husqvarna off-road motorcycles, will encounter diverse terrains and climates, from dusty trails to high humidity near the equator. Their journey through countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cameroon will test their resolve and resilience.

Yet, they are unwavering in their commitment to finding a new rhythm for their lives and inspire us all to do the same.

As Dr. Oosthuizen reflects, “We’re tackling the journey to find a new rhythm for our lives. That also means knowing what to take and what to leave in many respects.”

Pictured above: Dr. De Witt Oosthuizen

This remarkable journey is not just about covering kilometres; it’s about bridging the gap between privilege and need, inspiring others to embark on their own quests for a better world. Jean and De Witt’s adventure is a testament to the human spirit’s capacity for compassion, resilience, and the pursuit of a greater purpose.

You can support their awesome cause here!

Sources: BackaBuddy
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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