Regional charity Gulf for Good (G4G) has announced its line-up of exciting charity adventure challenges for 2010. Kicking off with a combined kayaking, cycling and trekking expedition in the hills of Northern Thailand in February, they also include hiking in Lebanon, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and conclude with a rare opportunity to cycle around Cuba.
Founder and G4G Chairman Brian Wilkie says the variety of challenges for 2010 has been selected in order to suit all interests and levels of fitness and determination.
“We have worked hard to identify a series of challenges for next year, which will allow everyone to find something which inspires them to get up, get fit and have fun. At the same time, participants will be doing something really worthwhile – namely, giving kids a chance around the world,” he said. “Whether trekking through the mountains of Lebanon or to the roof of Africa, exploring the hills of Thailand, cycling through Cuba or visiting the charities we plan to help, this is sure to be an unforgettable experience for anyone who chooses to get involved”
G4G is a Dubai-based regional charity, founded in 2001 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. To date, the organisation’s 26 adventure challenges in 17 countries have involved more than 500 participants from across the Gulf and have raised around US$1.5 million.
These funds have been donated to tangible and carefully thought out projects in the adventure challenge host countries in the Middle East, South America, Asia and Africa. G4G has built hospitals, orphanages and schools, provided school transport and bought medical and computer equipment where they are urgently needed.
G4G’s Challenge Director, Ravi Chandran, says challenge participants “have ranged from 14-72 years old, and from athletes to couch potatoes,” He went on, ”We can provide the support and training progammes to get participants up to the level of fitness needed to take part in a particular challenge, but really this is about individuals challenging themselves, not only from a fitness perspective, but also in the way they need to raise money to take part, which is used to give kids a chance around the world.”
“The highlight of the challenge for the majority of participants is when they visit the charity project being supported,” he added. “We hear constantly that the challenges we organise make a huge difference to peoples’ lives. Obviously, the charities that receive the funds benefit enormously, but doing the challenge itself often turns out to be a life-changing experience for many challengers.”
Voluntary G4G Governor, Tricia Evans says she is “particularly excited about the challenge in Thailand, as it will take us through some amazingly remote areas, not only meeting, but also staying with the hill tribes. I also love the idea of combining kayaking, cycling and trekking in one adventure – a real physical challenge!” She added, “The funds raised through this challenge will be donated to the Human Development Foundation, who we have supported before – they do a fantastic job caring for and educating hundreds of the most disadvantaged children of Thailand”.
Details of the 2010 challenges are as follows:
February 11 – 20 : The Golden Triangle Multi-Challenge, Northern Thailand
Roam high amongst the hills of northern Thailand and visit the remote hill tribes without disturbing their way of life, passing through villages that foreigners rarely see. Cycle on rural back roads through rolling hills, kayak through the jungle past remote riverside villages and stay in a jungle camp and village longhouse. The chance to see temples, limestone peaks, caves, elephants, waterfalls and an amazing mix of different cultures all make this a fascinating cultural as well as physical adventure. Funds raised will support the Human Development Foundation’s work with the disadvantaged Thai children.
April 23 – 30 : Lebanon Mountain Eco-Trail (In the footsteps of Khalil Gibran)
Discover Lebanon’s remote natural beauty, connect with her warm and friendly people, and experience age-old culture and culinary delights on the first long-distance hiking trail in Lebanon! Determined to conserve their unique natural and cultural heritage through environmentally- and socially-responsible ecotourism, the mountain communities created this trail with sweeping vistas of snow-capped mountains, deep lush valleys and the sparkling Mediterranean; remote villages; literature; nature reserves; castles; palaces; monasteries; and Roman/Medieval/Ottoman remains…. Chances are you will want to return! Funds raised will support the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund and SOS Children’s Villages in Lebanon.
July 1 – 10 : Trek to the Roof of Africa, Tanzania
Climbing ‘Kili’ (as she is affectionately known) is one of G4G’s most popular and difficult trekking adventures. Taking the Marangu route on the eastern side of the mountain, we will trek through dramatically varying terrains including rain forests, meadows, moorlands and ‘The Saddle’ – a high altitude, 5km wide desert. The journey will steadily take you up to the renowned Gilman’s Point (5,681m) and the glaciated summit at Uhuru Peak (5,892m). Two acclimatization days are included. Funds raised will support the impoverished children of Tanzania cared for by Plan International.
November 11 – 20 : The Revolutionary Ride, Cuba
Follow a fascinating route from the infamous Bay of Pigs through national parks, lush countryside and sugar plantations, over hills and mountains and along the shimmering Caribbean coastline. Get right up close and discover the people as much as the sights by following back roads and visiting small rural and fishing villages. The route will take you to many colonial towns and historical and world heritage sites including Trinidad, Santa Clara and Cienfuegos, with plenty of time to explore Havana, one of the oldest cities in the Americas. Funds raised will support the disadvantaged children of Cuba.
In line with previous events, participants are required to pay a registration fee of AED1,850 and then raise minimum sponsorship of between AED 12,000 and 23,000, depending on the challenge.
Gulf for Good helps with fund-raising ideas; makes training and fitness suggestions; gives clothing and equipment advice; as well as hosting free training sessions in the run-up to each challenge. On the challenge, it provides flights and transfers, accommodation, food, guides and medical backup.
Accompanied on all challenges by a local team of qualified guides, people wishing to participate are advised to register now for one of these experiences of a lifetime, as places are limited.
For more information on any of the challenges, you may attend an Information Evening being hosted by G4G in Dubai on Monday October 26 and in Abu Dhabi on November 4. Please visit the website www.gulf4good.org or call +971-4-368-0222 for more details.
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