A charity ride along Vietnam’s central coast late April has raised more than AUD30,000 (US$22,500) for a fund to send seven underprivileged students to university.
The week-long ride, held by Lifestart Foundation, took place from April 14 to 21, with six riders covering more than 400 km, or an average of only under 70km per day, the organizers said on Wednesday.
The participants, all from Australia, departed from Da Nang and continued along the scenic coast, venturing into the famed ancient capital of Hue before heading west into the mountains and along the Ho Chi Minh Road, according to Lifestart Foundation.
The six Australian riders all successfully completed the very hilly ride in extreme heat after seven days.
“This was more than a bike trip – it was an inspiring journey with like minded people who were united by their passion for making a difference,” the Hoi An-based charity organization said.
The total value of the funds raised by the riders was in excess of AUD30,000, meant to send seven of the Lifestart Foundation Education Scholarship students to university.
The funds raised will send three students off to study medicine, and one each to pharmacy, law, engineering and business.
Recipients of the Lifestart Foundation scholarships are extremely poor students who are academically gifted and who are at risk of not being able to complete their education.
The grueling hilly ride through central Vietnam in extreme heat saw the riders finish in Hoi An.
At the final night’s celebratory dinner the riders were honored with the presence of the Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Craig Chittick and the Consul General Karen Lanyon, according to the charity.
They also met the seven students who they had raised funds for and had the opportunity to get to know these special young people first hand.
The students prepared a performance for the riders and esteemed guests and they wrote heartfelt letters to all of the riders as a sign of their profound gratitude.
The Lifestart Foundation is a grassroots, not-for-profit charity that helps disadvantaged Vietnamese people and their families to become self-sufficient.
Founded in 2000 by Karen Leonard and supported by a team of dedicated volunteers, the foundation applies a holistic approach to helping those in need through proven working programs and initiatives which are designed to effect a generational change.
Lifestart Foundations investment in the disadvantaged youth of central Vietnam to date is in excess of VND12.75 billion ($569,196).
Committed to breaking the poverty cycle of central Vietnam's brightest scholars via education, Lifestart Foundation Education Scholarship project provides fully comprehensive scholarships through secondary and high school and onto to university. Scholarships cover all tuition fees, books, uniforms and the all important extra classes.