I'm cycling 3,200 miles along the ancient silk route from Xi'an in China to Tashkent in Uzbekistan for 2 months this summer with 10 other students from the University of St Andrews Adventure Group (STAAG). We are raising money for two charities; The Elnura Foundation (working with two charities in Kyrgyzstan: The Center for the Protection of Children and Babushka Adoption, to help support both young children and the elderly) and Fauna & Flora International (working specifically to help protect the endangered snow leopard). We will also be visiting our charities along the way to give physical support whilst we're out there. We chose these two charities as we wanted a balance between humanitarian and environmental causes that we could support.
Children and the elderly are marginalized in Kyrgyz society, receiving little or no support from the government and a large majority live in poverty - being an international group with team members from countries such as Norway, Germany, and Scotland (to name but a few) we understand the importance of equality in this increasingly globalized world and so we hope to improve the quality of life for Kyrgyz people and give them opportunities that many take for granted - such as the right to regular food supplies.
Snow leopards are becoming increasingly endangered and are a fundamental species within the 12 countries they inhabit in Eastern Asia as they act as the main predator regulating the populations of grazing herbivores and maintaining a equilibrium within the ecosystem. Due to the increased impacts of climate change, habitat fragmentation and killings by farmers who are trying to protect their livestock, snow leopard numbers are dwindling fast. We're working to protect them and their habitat through education (teaching the local farmers about the importance of the snow leopard) and through conservation - in these ways we hope to prevent the possible extinction of such a beautiful creature that we know so little about.
100% of all money donated is going to our charities, this is fundamental for us as a group, which is why we're planning and undertaking every step of this challenge independently from any corporation or organisation.
We thank you for all of your support :)