Three men passed through Princeton on a cross-country bike ride to help raise a quarter-million dollars to build a school in Ethiopia.
These “normal” guys aren’t Olympic athletes, but at the height of their mid-life dropped their day jobs to pedal across Canada for three months.
The organization places orphans with guardian families who are paid to look after the children and get them to school.
“If we can get one person an education, they can support their entire extended family,” said bike rider Mark Bishop, who is riding with friends Vern Hyde and Ken Wallace.
The program – which has produced students who become university graduates – is about breaking the cycle of poverty, he said.
The Chain Reaction Ride began in Vancouver on May 2 and will end in Halifax, NS at the end of June.
The men challenge Princeton to help raise money for the new school by donating to www.chainreactionride.com. The group has already raise $68,000.
“The children are treated well because their guardian family gets paid to look after them, which supports the entire family,” said Wallace.
A university graduate makes around $200 a year in Ethiopia, but this money is enough to support their parents and siblings, Bishop said.
“We’re giving them a head start for the rest of their lives.”
The money they raise will go towards a new school for the kids, who are currently learning in a building with a dirt floor.
“The children are thriving in the program. We’re raising money to provide them with a proper facility to learn in,” Bishop said.