Friday, December 3, 2010
Two cyclists with a vision to bring clean water to Fiji pedaled out of San Diego today.
Ryan Delamater and Dane Horak hugged their families goodbye as they embarked on a 31,000-mile global bike tour called Ride4Water. The tour will take them through 6 continents and 40 countries in 18 months.
Their vision is to provide 45,000 Fijians with access to clean water. To do this, they are trying to raise $1 million for the San Diego-based nonprofit Give Clean Water.
Organization president Amanda Mineer said that the bike tour is about connecting local people with global issues. Instead of just seeking a handful of wealthy philanthropists, their goal is to see 10,000 people donate $100.
“It’s really about getting the community involved in helping the world,” said Amanda Mineer, president of Give Clean Water. “We’ve got high school kids who are throwing pizza parties to raise money.”
Mineer said that many people are oblivious to the widespread poverty in Fiji.
“Most people view it as being a beautiful vacation island spot,” said Mineer. “They have a huge water problem there. Over 50 percent of the people in Fiji don't have access to clean water.”
According to its website, the organization has already provided about 11,500 Fijians with access to clean water.
Delamater said he dreamed of a global bike tour earlier this year after completing a 6,000-mile ride across Canada to raise awareness for child soldiers in Africa.
“I didn't know anything about dirty water or how big of a problem it is on a global scale until about six months ago,” said Delamater. “Roughly a billion people in the world don't have good water. It just seemed like a great way to try to help other people.”
The cyclists began their journey in Ohio in September and are currently navigating through Latin America. They will continue through Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia before ending their journey in Fiji, where they will meet the families they are helping.