Cyclist killed on road up Burnaby Mountain, Charles Masala, was renowned for supporting students in Zambia

    1 of 4 2 of 4

      A Vancouver professional engineer who went to extraordinary lengths to promote education in southern Africa is the man who died in a hit-and-run crash at the base of Burnaby Mountain.

      Charles Masala, 53, was riding his bike along Gaglardi Road when he was struck by an SUV on June 29. He didn't survive his injuries.

      Friends have created a makeshift memorial for the father of two, according to Global B.C. News.

      In 1989, Masala graduated from the University of Zambia with a bachelor's of engineering degree. A year later, he obtained a master's degree from the University of New Castle Upon Tyne.

      In 1995 after moving to Canada, he graduated from the University of British Columbia with a master's degree of applied science and has been an engineer since then.

      According to the Association of Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C. website, Masala worked for Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd. in Vancouver. His primary area of expertise was water resources, and he had secondary expertise in hydrology.

      He left Klohn Crippen Berger last year and went to Golder Associates.

      "I have been directly involved in studies relating to mine water management, including water quality and characterization, surface water management and design, and water treatment in North and South America," Masala wrote in a 2016 technical report on a feasibility study for the Fruta del Norte project in Ecuador.

      Masala was widely admired for his efforts to give students in his native Zambia an opportunity to succeed in life.

      In 2006 while living in Seattle, he wanted to help a volunteer group that was offering classroom education to a few dozen students near where he grew up.

      Masala and some friends launched the Dwankhozi Hope organization to raise funds for this initiative.

      It now offers education to 600 students from pre-kindergarten to grade 9 in the Dwankhozi community school, according to the group's website.

      Video: The story of Dwankhozi was told in this video, which was posted on YouTube in 2015.

      "Our work has grown to address community health projects, sustainable economic projects, adult education—and recently the construction of a local high school for graduated students in the area," it states. "Dwankhozi Hope is not about charity. It's about justice."

      In 2010, Masala went on a nearly 2,000-kilometre bike ride to raise funds for Dwankhozi Hope, a Zambian organization that runs a school for 600 students from pre-kindergarten to grade 9.

      Below, you can see a video of part of his trip.

      Video: Charles Masala embarked on a 15-day cycling trip from Lusaka, Zambia, to Windhoek, Namibia, to raise funds for the Dwankhozi Hope mission.

      After Masala was struck and killed, Burnaby RCMP detained a vehicle at the top of Burnaby Mountain. As of this writing, there's no word on whether any charges have been laid against the driver or any passengers.

      Watch this 2014 Dwankhozi Hope Week video about the partnership between Queen Anne elementary school in Seattle and Dwankhozi.

      Comments