Use your legs and lungs to advocate

Ben Skoda from Venture Expeditions, talks about his organization’s efforts to fight poverty through adventure.

When it comes to addressing HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa, most of us do not lack heart. Unfortunately, many of us have a desire to act, but are deterred by the lack of a platform or the resources to contribute.

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Venture Expeditions and Blood:Water Mission have joined forces to create a unique opportunity to advocate, using something that most of us do have.

Legs and lungs.

Ride:Well tours have provided men and women of diverse ages and backgrounds with a platform to use their legs and lungs for our friends in Africa — long-distance cycling and hiking trips.

Since 2008, Ride:Well cyclists have gathered in San Diego and ridden over 3,000 miles across the US, while educating communities about the need for clean water wells in Africa and the work Blood:Water Mission is doing along the way.

Most participants are not seasoned cyclists — many even need to acquire a bike to start training for the tour. The unique dynamic of these tours is not only in the act of traveling to advocate for Blood:Water initiatives, but in the connection participants make with the suffering in Africa by enduring some physical suffering of their own — sometimes cycling more than 100 miles in a day through the heat of summer.

This year, Ride:Well has expanded by adding two shorter tours, in addition to the cross-country trek: a 10-day ride from Seattle to Portland, and a hike to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Venture Expeditions, which has been organizing adventure-driven humanitarian campaigns since 2002, provides participants with resources for training and fund raising, experienced leadership, and a support vehicle for cycling trips.

Through the creative, grassroots efforts of Blood:Water Mission, more than 600,000 people in 13 countries in Africa have been provided with clean water and health care (bloodwatermission.com). Ride:Well tours benefit the community of Marsabit, Kenya.

We know you have the heart; but can you offer your legs and lungs to be a voice of advocacy for those who are in need?

The people of Marsabit, Kenya are anxious to partner with you.

Visit www.ridewelltour.org or www.ventureexpeditions.org to learn more about our cycling and hiking tours.