This coming March, a global anti-poverty agency is organising a cycling adventure to Cambodia and looking for enthusiastic participants. It will be fun, physical and charitable aimed at getting you out of your comfort zone.
For years, ActionAid Australia has been working with communities in Cambodia affected by landmines. Their focus now is on helping them increase income through better farming, water storage and business techniques.
These skills help communities build small businesses and farming co-operatives – initiatives that mean more food for their families, as well as additional income.
Are you passionate about traveling and making a difference? Anyone can get involved. It’s a 10-day adventure, 6 days of cycling through the countryside of Cambodia, where you will visit the ruins of Angkor Wat, and the city of Phnom Penh. After that, you will spend several days working alongside a local community, sharing their hardships, their progress and their joy first-hand as you work in partnership to change their lives for the better. These ‘First Hand Experience’ adventures raise between $40,000 and $100,000 on average which will make a massive difference to the communities.
Jessie Blythe has signed up for ActionAid’s First Hand Experience adventure trip to Cambodia. Part of her task is fundraising to cover costs to contribute to projects in Cambodia, the other part is dealing with the hurdles of preparation both physically and mentally. This is what she had to say:
Having to fundraise for this trip has been a challenge, but a rewarding one. I’ve had so much support from friends and family as well as people I don’t even know, which has been a wonderful surprise. In 4 months I have raised nearly $3,500 so I’m very pleased.
This is how I have done it so far:
- I have had online donations
- I have sold 25 boxes of Cadbury’s chocolate (and on to my next 25)
- I have sold gym memberships
- I have been lucky enough to have many people donate cash
- I have held a garage sale
- I am currently auctioning a painting
- I have worked at McDonalds
- … and the list goes on.
Some other ideas I am considering include hosting a trivia night, having a morning tea and many other exciting things. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people who have been so kind and supportive.
Sometimes when I think about the trip it is nerve-wracking, but I’m also so excited and curious all at once. I want to see Cambodia and how the people live and see what I can do to help, but I am scared about the physical side of the trip. I am interested to see how ActionAid is working with communities and how my fundraising money will make a difference to the Cambodian people.
I have been going to the gym and my personal trainer regularly. However I love food, so I am still a bit overweight. But my goal is to get fit for the cycle challenge so it keeps me going!
It is also a challenge for me as I am not a professional cyclist in fact I haven’t been on a bike in years. The training is helping me get my confidence back and feeling comfortable riding again. There have been ups and downs in getting ready for the trip but I want to give it my best. I have 5 more months before I get on the plane so plenty of time for more training and fundraising.
If you want to join Jessie on this amazing journey, there is still time to register. Learn more and download a registration pack at the ActionAid website. Register before 1st November and go into the draw to win an eco-friendly 2 night holiday at The Observatory (Australia’s Property of the Year), including dinner at Fusion 7 and The Breakwall Restaurant and more (worth $2,000). Second prize is a clothing and accessories pack from GORE-TEX and Deus Cycleworks worth $1,200. All you have to do is say in 25 words or less why you want to come on a First Hand Experience!
Featured image provided by ActionAid