Rebels Kirsty and Ed will be travelling to Malawi in August to build two houses with the charity Habitat for Humanity (“HfH”). HfH focusses its effort there on orphans and vulnerable children, the number of which has increased 66% in less than a decade; from 937,000 in 2001 to 1,400,000 in 2010. Many of these children are living in slums where the housing is woefully inadequate. 

They will be involved with all aspects of the build and the work will be labour intensive given the lack of electronic tools and power supplies. During the project they will spend time getting to know the families they are building for and the wider community.

Charity trip 2
Charity trip 2

How did you get involved with the project?

Kirsty: After completing my first volunteer build in Zambia in 2014, HfH asked whether I would train to be a team leader for them. I have since lead house building projects for them in Romania and Zambia, and Malawi will soon be added to the list.

Ed: Kirsty and I met through 1Rebel and after following the progress of the build in Zambia in 2016, I decided to take the leap of faith and sign up for the next project.

Ultimately we would love a 1Rebel build project in 2018!

What are you most nervous about?

Ed: Mosquitoes!! On a serious note, being confronted with extreme poverty and not being able to help everyone who needs it. I'm not sure how I'll cope with that situation.

Kirsty: Ha! I’m probably responsible to Ed’s mosquito fear. I may have sent him some horror pictures from my last trip. The mozzies liked me more than they disliked the repellent. It is my job to keep everyone safe during the project so that makes me most nervous. You can also never tell how people are going to react to being so far out of their comfort zone.

What has your training regime looked like?

Ed: I practically live at the studio and do six sessions a week; two Rides, Rumbles and Reshapes. It's become such a big part of my social life too, which helps getting out of bed at 5am to make 6:15am Reshapes mid-week!

Kirsty: I go to 3 or 4 sessions at 1Rebel each week (a mixture of Ride, Rumble & Reshape) and play netball Tuesday nights. I’ve also got a blackbelt in kickboxing so I try to train in that when I can.  

How has 1R helped with the training?

Kirsty: I feel physically the fittest I’ve ever been since training at 1Rebel which will definitely help with the actual building.  But maybe more importantly is the mental benefits it has. I take on a lot with a full time job in banking and all the other things I try to fit in. In a 1R class I can get totally lost in what I am doing and it feels amazing (even when it hurts). 

Ed: 1Rebel helps you get comfortable being uncomfortable, pushing you beyond your comfort zone both physically and mentally. Beyond being physically the fittest I've ever been, I feel that it's going to help me power through the more mentally tougher parts of the project.

Do you remember your first session?

Ed: My first session was a Rumble session with Lisa. I never, ever thought I'd do Ride and Reshape but after a few Rumble sessions, I took the plunge and just loved every part of it (although Sammy makes me curse a few times every week with hill sprints...)

Kirsty: My first session was a Ride class. I was worried I wouldn’t like it because I’ve never really been into group exercise/gyms but I loved it and have been hooked since.

Who is your favourite 1R instructor?

Ed: I am going to get in so much trouble no matter what I answer. I love all the instructors. Tiago, Kim, Esmee, Sammy & Robyn are constantly on my calendar.

Kirsty:  So he already has a BIG fan club but I would be lying if I denied being suckered in by the Tiago effect. I love the vibe of his classes. I have also recently grown to enjoy Reshape thanks to Kim.

You can support Ed and Kirsty by following their fundraising link:

You can also follow their journey on instagram @little_abbo & @eddowling