TWU students cycle 400 miles during spring break to raise money for Afghan refugees

Langley, British Columbia—Although it was pouring rain, the weather did not dampen the spirits of students Sooze Waldock and Desmond Wong. The duo departed from Trinity Western University’s campus on February 22 to bicycle 400 miles during their week-long spring break. Joined by TWU student Adam Borries in Bellingham, Washington, the three cyclists will complete the journey to Cannon Beach, Oregon, to raise money for Afghan refugees.

“It’s kind of like a refugee trip,” says Wong, who organized the journey in partnership with World Vision Canada. “The refugees go as far as we do—400 miles—and they have to rely on people too.”

Funds raised by the cyclists will go toward World Vision’s efforts to provide food, water, shelter and medicine for the more than 7.5 million refugees fleeing Afghanistan into Pakistan and surrounding nations. To support as many Afghan families as possible, a donor will also match the funds raised, making each donation twice as effective.

The three cyclists, who estimate to complete their journey in eight days, will trust in the hospitality of communities and churches to provide them with places to sleep along the way.

And as he secures his waterproof gloves, Wong, a fourth-year student majoring in religious studies at TWU, is not one bit concerned by the downpour sending the cyclists off.

“Refugees have to travel in much worse conditions,” he says.

Wong’s concern for challenges facing refugees has already extended beyond his spring break endeavors. When he is not cycling to raise funds, Wong works to educate the TWU campus about current refugee crises through a student group that he heads up at TWU, called Refuge Island. Throughout the year, the group brings in speakers to share their experiences and insights with students, seeks out opportunities to fundraise for refugee relief, and teaches English to local refugees.

“Most of the people in the group are interested in doing intercultural kind of work,” says Sooze Waldock, a fourth-year environmental science major at TWU.

Waldock is equally as anxious to complete the 400 mile trip. An avid cyclist, she spent two years cycling 20 km each day to and from classes at TWU.

“Adam and I are in the mountain cycling class together at Trinity, so that is kind of fun too,” she says.

The trio will travel through the Puget Sound area, Olympic Peninsula and along the Oregon Coast on their way to their finish line at Cannon Beach. For more information, contact Desmond Wong at desdesmond@mac.com.

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a privately funded Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,000 students this year. With a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 34 major areas ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2007-09-26
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