“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.”
The little prince. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, one of my favourite books when I was growing up (and still is).
Do you think there is any book that has changed your view of the world? Maybe opened your eyes and expanded your mind further than expected? I’m sure you are already picturing yourself holding it, turning its pages without a clear notion of time, you might even remember its characteristic smell.
Maybe you wished you have read that particular book at a younger age. This has happened to me several times already. It’s a rather sweet and sour feeling where you get excited for having discovered it, while at the same time you find yourself clenching your teeth for not having come across it earlier. However, there you are, devouring its pages as if you had found a treasure.
We take this for granted, access to books for education and pleasure, but this is not the experience for many. According to Unesco, 58 million children don’t have access to a proper education, books or learning materials.
Enters “Room to Read”, an internationally awarded NGO which has helped more than 10 million kids in developing countries all over the world. With their motto: “World change starts with educated children”, they perfectly express their mission: In addition to building schools and libraries in the most deprived areas in the world, they also offer scholarships, in particular to girls, in order to improve their lives and lift them and their families out of poverty.
To be honest, I wouldn’t know about this great initiative if it wasn’t for a small group of bike aficionados working in tech, that wanted to give back to society by focusing on what gave them their opportunities in life: Education.
That’s why Eze Vizdra, along with a small group, launched Techbikers in 2012, a yearly bike road trip from Paris to London (that’s over 320 km in three days). This group has helped Room to Read with more than 170.000 pounds so far, contributing on the building of 3 schools, 1 library and provided 3,000 girls with scholarships.
This year, a group of around 60 bikers (some more experienced than others) will wear their best lycra in order to raise money for the reconstruction of a school in Nepal which was damaged in the 2015 earthquake (originally built using Techbikers funds) and other initiatives Room to Read has across the globe. In order to maximise the amount of money that reaches the charity, the trip expenses are covered by the participants and some generous sponsors.
Today is your chance to help eradicate illiteracy. A simple donation to Room to Read, as little as the cost of your favourite book, can give children in developing countries the chance to get better opportunities in life.
I’ll be sweating every kilometre to help these big guys reach their goal! Do you want to join me?