SadlySadly, following a near collision I have damaged a ligament in my knee and had to stop the ride. This was after riding 400 miles in 2.5 days. I fully intends to finish the ride when fully recovered and will hopefully have the chance to start at lands end again. Many thanks for all the support and messages I have received along the way, and for those I have received since the injury.
Two years ago I cycled from Lands End to John o'Groats with my little brother, Paddy. We took 12 days and camped all the way and when we got to the finish we were feeling pretty chuffed with ourselves. Until two guys rolled in having finished the route in half the time we had taken. From that day on I vowed I would ride it in 6 days alone and unsupported.
So why have I chosen the Friends of Alalay in Bolivia as a charity to support? Well I travelled through Bolilvia many years ago with my wife and was awstruck by its beauty and the people. I also work for a company specialising in trips to South America so that was an obvious place for me to look to, and having two little kids of my own (Ben and Phoebe) I really wanted to support a childrens project.
What will strike you is that such a small amount of money can make a massive difference to these children. Please take the time to read more about the project - it is amazing!
Friends of Alalay, Bolivia
The Alalay centre near Santa Cruz, Bolivia supports 130 children. All the children come from broken homes, many of them were at one time sleeping rough in the streets. The centre was set up by the Alalay Foundation run by Claudia Gonzales to support projects for the homeless in La Paz and in Santa Cruz. Friends of Alalay (Santa Cruz) was set up by Annie Syrett when she was still a student at Sheffield University. All funds raised by Friends of Alalay go towards projects at the centre near Santa Cruz.
Examples of projects funded by Friends of Alalay:
· Children’s playground built [$152/£100]
· Site re-plumbed with warm showers, improved drainage [$1,124/£740]
· School uniforms [$447/£294]
· School bus repairs, including new starter motor [$243/£160]
· Cabins and roofs repaired and re-decorated [$1,025/£675]
· Additional outdoor lighting [$254/£167]
· Football kits, including boots, provided for two teams of street kids [$585/£385]
· Chicken project with henhouses, chickens and feed, part time supervisor/trainer [$4,944/£3,255]
· Substantial irrigated vegetable garden set up and part time supervisor/trainer [$1,215/£800]
· Textile equipment purchased, along with materials, to make clothes on-site [$3,418/£2,250]
· Bakery extended [$790/£520]
· Preventative action project to keep children at home where they are at risk of going on the streets
· Vocational training for 11 adolescents [$4,180/£2,750]
· English classes for 2 years [$4,560/£3,000]
· Two thousand Christmas cards produced by the street kids [$304/£200]
The Alalay centre has plenty of land and buildings, some of which were in a state of disrepair. Friends of Alalay carried out repairs in 2010 to one of the buildings to turn it into a medical clinic. In September 2010 the LATA Foundation approved $2887 to provide equipment for the clinic. Equipment was ordered and delivered over the next couple of months. The LATA Foundation Medical Centre opened in January 2011.
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