|Riders pose for a photo during the 12th charity bicycle ride H2H – PHOTO: COURTESY OF SAIGON CHILDREN’S CHARITY|
The donation comes at a much-needed time as the country is going through the biggest outbreak of Covid-19 and many children are suffering from hunger, loss of education and mental health risks.
Instead of the usual month-long ride that H2H is associated with, the uncertainties of Covid-19 this year have shortened the H2H ride to five days, beginning in Pleiku in the Central Highlands and finishing in Quy Nhon on the coast.
The five-day route covered 350 kilometers of epic cycling including 30% off-road, with the added challenge of the heat, the hills and mountain trails to motivate adventurous riders.
“The stunning scenery, the cultural richness, the physical challenge and the team spirit were all in focus and the unifying goal remained the children and charities we ride for,” said team member Chris Rolls.
On top of the cycling challenge, the H2H team worked tirelessly on fundraising. While a majority of the donations came from each rider’s peer-to-peer fundraising, the team also partnered with cash sponsors and organized community fundraising events before and after the main ride, which took place in late April.
“Being 100% volunteers, the H2H team devoted a significant amount of their time and energy to raise funds for children in Vietnam without asking for anything back. For an organization like us, this source of income is valuable as it allows us to better plan our finances and sustain our mission of providing better access to education for underprivileged children across Vietnam,” said Damien Roberts, executive director of the Saigon Children’s Charity, H2H’s lead charity partner.
H2H Ride for Vietnam (www.h2h.team) was started in 2009 by a group of expats who wanted to give back to the local community while exploring the country by bicycle. The ride usually covers 2,000 kilometers from Hanoi to HCMC each April.
Over its 12 years, H2H volunteers have raised nearly US$450,000 to help disadvantaged children in Vietnam.
The donations go to charities including the Saigon Children’s Charity, the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation and the Live & Give and ILA Community Network. These charities improve the lives of disadvantaged children in Vietnam by providing better access to education, fighting human trafficking or providing safe shelter and, this year, by responding to the impact of Covid-19.