From the 17th to 21st of September 2015, I will be taking part in the Atlantic-to-the-Mediterranean cycling challenge to support the Akshaya Patra Foundation’s Nepal Earthquake Fund. Akshaya Patra operate kitchens in Nepal to provide food to the victims of the devastating earthquakes this year.
Over 5 days, the cycling challenge will cover 720 km (447 miles) of distance and 11,000 m (36,000 ft) of climbs encompassing some of the most challenging mountain passes featured in previous Tour de France routes. Our route will closely follow the ‘Randonneur’ version of the Raid Pyrenéen, from Hendaye on the Atlantic coast near the Spanish border to Cerbère on the Mediterranean coast. I am aiming to raise £20,000 / $30,000 / €24,000 for the Nepal Kitchen Fund.
Nepal ranks 145th of 187 countries on the Human Development Index (2014). In April a large earthquake devastated the country that was already struggling with persistent, high level of poverty and hunger. Major aftershocks in May exacerbated the already desperate situation. The deaths, physical damage, such as the destruction of the Kathmandu Durbar Square where I stood in awe some 26 years ago, and the economic loss are truly regrettable. The physical, emotional and financial losses suffered by the survivors are beyond imagination. One basic necessity that they need is food.
In a country with only a basic level of infrastructure, a lot of which was destroyed in the earthquakes, distribution of aid is a significant challenge. Add to that the lack of equipment, expertise and a complex political environment, and we end up with inefficiencies in helping those that are desperate.
Akshaya Patra’s core activity is providing mid-day meals to disadvantaged primary school children in India. Their expertise is running kitchens to feed those in need. On 19th of June, with seed funding from Tata Trust, they set up and started operating a kitchen in Bhaktapur, Nepal to distribute prepared food to victims in 11 locations. The kitchen has the capacity to make 100,000 meals per day, about 10 batches of 10,000 meals per day.
Supporting Akshaya Patra’s Nepal Earthquake Fund is important to me because it provides efficient and effective help to the earthquake victims. You might recall that I had raised funds for Akshaya Patra 2 years ago for their core activity in India. Today, I am seeking your support for an extraordinary disaster relief initiative being run by an organisation with the right expertise and experience.
The Raid Pyrenéen route includes extremely demanding climbs and changeable weather conditions, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge and raising money for Akshaya Patra.
Any amount, no matter how small, is much appreciated.
WAYS TO DONATE TO AKSHAYA PATRA
The options listed below are available so that you may receive tax benefit in your country. If you are not too fussed about tax benefits and would like to donate as quickly as possible, then please go to my primary fundraising page:
If your tax residence is in:
the US, click here;
the UK, click here;
any other country, click here.
If you want to give cold cash, I am happy to accept cash donations by hand delivery. I will then consolidate all cash donations and send them on to Akshaya Patra UK on your behalf.
Thank you very much for your support. Please visit my homepage for fundraising updates.
Some Facts & Figures:
- For every £15 donated, 100 meals will be provided to earthquake survivors.
- £150 provides 1,000 meals.
- £1,500 provides 10,000 meals.
- £15,000 provides 100,000 meals, the daily capacity of the kitchen.
- The Akshaya Patra Foundation helps underprivileged children in India by providing them with a healthy, balanced meal for which they would otherwise have to work, cf., http://www.akshayapatra.org. The meal is an incentive for them to continue their education. It helps reduce the dropout rate to an enormous extent and increases classroom attendance. They serve over 1.4 million children in 10,770 government schools in 10 states in India from 24 kitchens. All of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens meet the highest standards of safety and efficiency, and ten of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens have already been certified as FSMS ISO 22000:2005 compliant, which means they meet the standards of the International Food Safety Management System (FSMS). More information on Akshaya Patra’s US affiliate is available at http://www.foodforeducation.org, and that of the UK affiliate at http://www.foodforeducation.org.uk.