Soph and I are Biking 1500km around Sri Lanka staring on Boxing Day. We have 24 days to complete the journey and catch our flight on to Europe. We will need to average 63km per day if we bike every day, which we won’t since we want to spend time in certain locations, so the average will be more like 80-100km per day.
Originally we just had a flight back to London from NZ booked for early February, but Soph suggested that we stop somewhere hot on the way after seeing her cousins photos from Sri Lanka. Luckily we had booked a flexible fare so were able to create a stop over in Dubai for almost a month while we fly from there to SL, do the bike expedition and carry on.
Soph’s cousin, who gave us the idea to go to Sri Lanka, originally went there to do relief after the 2004 boxing day Tsunami which devastated the East and South coasts. We thought that with our intended expedition we have an opportunity to help too. So we set about contacting many different charities within SL, government organisations and the UN before we started talking to Dilanee of the Ocean Stars Trust registered charity. We immediately liked what Ocean Stars were currently doing and Dilanee was very approachable. We talked over Skype and email for weeks before settling on a worthy cause to raise money for. So now we are raising funds for the Karaveddy Preschool on the East coast in the Batticaloa region. The Batticaloa region was very badly effected by the Tsunami and almost 3 decades of civil war and is now in recovery and development mode. The Preschool is in desperate need of a solid roof, currently it only has a single layered leaky tin which needs constant repair and is often damaged in strong winds.
You can donate funds by going to our Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/bikesrilanka. We are also having a fund raising Evening of Entertainment in Queenstown, NZ on the 4th of Dec, see the invite below and click for a larger image.
The Preschool currently has around 55 students and is one of the biggest in terms of numbers of children attending. No children are turned away who want to attend. Pupils will walk to the Preschool or arrive in a tuc tuc or on a bike with their parents. The distance traveled is around 3 kilometres to get to school.
Students attending the Preschool typically live with their family in a small one bed room shack, house or hut with a separate kitchen and access to a shared well for water and no electricity. The standard work for local people will be agriculture or labouring jobs.
All photos courtesy of Ocean Stars Trust.