Cycling Challenge Fundraiser!
John Connel volunteered at Globalteer's Helping Hands school in Siem Reap as part of his Cambodia Community Project volunteer placement. In addition to volunteering, John helped to raise awareness and funds for the project in an amazing way; by taking on a 15 day cycling challenge down the length of Vietnam: from Hanoi to Ho Chi Min. An inspiring effort!
Volunteering at Helping Hands
"While volunteering at Helping Hands I helped the students with English and shared a little about life in the UK. I also helped set up a composting system for their Food and Farming programme, which provides the 300+ students with a nutritious breakfast daily. From making my initial enquiries to volunteering at the project everything about Globalteer and Helping Hands was professional and engaging. They make you feel part of the team and encourage you to put your skills and personality into the experience.
Their enthusiasm and commitment to the project was infectious. You immediately feel you are doing something worthwhile and are making a difference. In one word - “inspiring”. I would recommend anybody thinking about volunteering to just do it: you will not be disappointed.
The Cycling Challenge
After finishing at the project I travelled to Hanoi in the north of Vietnam to start a 15 day cycling expedition finishing in Ho Chi Minh in the south. A total cycling distance of around 435 miles (700km). The purpose of the cycling challenge was to raise awareness and funds to help support Globalteer and Helping Hands. It was a challenge but one that I trained very hard for, in all sorts of weather, and even with the students at Helping Hands. I took on the challenge as part of a fantastic group; representing Australia, the United States, Switzerland, the UK, Germany and Vietnam.
It was an epic adventure taking in some breath taking scenery, amazing food and experiences of Vietnamese life. The ride was probably a bit more challenging than any of us imagined, but it was very well run and organised and we had a great support team behind us. They could not do enough for us and certainly helped make sure we had a good time.
Knowing that I had the support of Globalteer and everyone at Helping Hands behind me motivated me each day to keep going. I am very happy and proud that I was able to help raise the funds that I did; I know they will be put to good use and make a difference. Also I was delighted to hear that my ride had inspired the students to run their own Slow Bicycle Race! Having watched them come and go each day to school on their over-sized bikes and having been out cycling with them to their village I thought this would be a great event and lots of fun."
The Slow Bicycle Race
Inspired by John’s cycling challenge the students at Helping Hands decided to have their own challenge; the Slow Bicycle Race! The aim of the race was to cycle as slow as possible without falling off or letting their feet touch the ground. The winner of the race would be the last person to cross the finish line. While the children get plenty of practice riding their bikes to and from school each day, this was going to be a different experience and was certain to put their balancing skills to the test. The race was a success. The students had so much fun; they enjoyed the race and new challenge and hope it will become an annual event.
How you can help too!
If you are inspired by John's cycling challenge, why not come up with your own creative fundraiser! You can donate to the project or become a monthly donor through our website. Or if you would like to volunteer at the Cambodia Community Project visit the project page or browse our other available projects to find something suitable for you!