Kayaking For The People / KFTP

Let's meet the mentor of this project.

Hello João Paulo. First of all, how and when did you start paddling?
I grew up in the Mondego shores and i had my first kayak experience at 15... and was hooked! At the time (80's), in Portugal kayaks and paddlers were quite rare. Then, in 1986, i spent my first Army wage in my first kayak, a Goltziana touring kayak.

At the same time, we know that you always loved to prepare and organize expeditions and “things”!

I was always an enthousiast of discovery and it's an enormous pleasure to me to chose "where" and "what" and to set up the "how"! And, for the last 20 years, in a purely amateur way, i've discovered and helped others to discover some mb and 4x4 trails, some mountains, a lot of waterways in kayak, allong with an incursion in an adventure sports corporation (Geoaventura).

And now, you decide to join all that experience in “Kayaking For The People” (KFTP). When did you had this idea?

KFTP is born from a mix of two guidelines: the organization in the last couple of years of several seakayak events in Portugal and the growing relationship with Mozambique and unverdeveloped communities issues. The idea came out some months ago, when i started to prepare the 2011 Lake Niassa (Malawi) Kayaking Expedition and whas something like this: "Just a kayak expedition? Why not something more?".

Presents us the KFTP partners…
For the next three years, our Action Plan wil be executed in cooperation with local organisations, like Associação Niassa Portugal Amizade (a portuguese NGO working in Nkholongue village, building a local medical post) and Fundação Khanimambo (a NGO working with 200 children of a poor fishermen community in Xai-Xai).

We know that, for this kind of projects, all the supports are very well coming. How can we support KFTP?
KFTP, as an independent NGO, depends on goodwill. So anyone, individual or organisation, is welcome to join and to help, supporting with an annual membership fee through the Member online aplication form. We are also looking for sponsors to help us with our Action Plan. We are talking about buying children bed nets, anti-diarrea pils for children and simple fourniture for medical posts. So, donors, sponsors and members are welcome!

The website is online, - like all the the “social networks”. And now, what are you planning for a short period?
We have already the 2011 Events Schedule (check it online), but the major events will be the partnership in Figueira da Foz Kayaksurf Session and the organisation of the Lake Niassa Kayaking Expedition 2011, a fund raising expedition along the mozambican shore of the Niassa (Malawi) lake, in August.

Well… we must ask you this: is there any space for surfkayaking as well?
KFTP aims to raise awareness among all kind of paddlers, no matter the craft, to do something more than just paddle, in order to improve the life conditions of undeveloped people.

Last words…
Just a couple of facts to think about:

- in the Niassa province, the most remote and undepeveloped province of one of the most undeveloped countries in the world, 1 of 5 children do not reach 5 years of age!
- an average carbon paddle may cost 5 mozambican minimum wages; an average fiberglass seakayak would pay the fourniture of a rural medical center!

Thanks João Paulo and all the success for KFTP.



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