Desert Dash to bring in funds for Masikhule

Julian Conrad in his happy place – the saddle of his bike.

What do Isipho Trust, the Nedbank Desert Dash 2020 and Masikhule have in common?

The answer is an inspirational hydrogeologist from Somerset West, Julian Conrad, who has a passion for mountain biking, competing and making a real difference.

This year he has decided to do the Nedbank Desert Dash, as a sponsorship opportunity through Isipho Trust, to raise funds for a local NPO, Masikhule.

Julian is the founding director of Geoss, a groundwater consulting company that focuses on the sustainable development and protection of our precious groundwater in southern Africa.

His passion is especially for endurance cycling, and Julian has completed three previous Desert Dashes, as well as five Cape Epics and dozens of other events – a number of these for charities.

The Nedbank Desert Dash 2020 is an endurance cycle of note. Taking 24 hours of non-stop riding, the bikers traverse 373km across the world’s oldest desert – the Namib.

Starting in Windhoek on Friday December 11, the route climbs the Khomas Hochland up to a level of 2 000m above sea level, then twists and turns down through beautiful scenery of scattered thorn trees and high savanna grass, with temperatures reaching up to 40 degrees Celsius, to end in the coastal town of Swakopmund.

This year Julian will be taking on this daunting cycle for Isipho Trust – a registered PBO that has been developed by Geoss to benefit women and children in need.

Their main focus is education – which led them to the decision to gift all funds raised by Julian in this race to Masikhule.

Masikhule has been training women from marginalised communities in the Helderberg to be Early Childhood Development (ECD) educators since 2005.

Says Megan Conrad, Julian’s wife and co-worker: “We chose Masikhule after we saw their article in the newspaper, and had also read about the losses of income in the ECD sphere during lockdown.

“We feel very strongly that education is crucial from early in one’s life – one can make such a difference in a child’s life if you can catch them early and involve the families too.

“I like knowing that all the money one gives them will be used wisely and for the intended purpose,” Megan added.

To help support Julian and Masikhule, email mconrad@geoss. or click here.

Be warned… Julian is not a quitter, so people who sponsor per km can expect to pay for all 373kms…

  • Sandy Immelman does the marketing and communication for Masikhule.