Christmas seems to have arrived early at Little Hearts. A few days ago, 13 new bicycles in various sizes and colours were delivered to our home. This is a very welcome addition to our existing mini-fleet of bicycles – now all our children over the age of 14 will be able to travel to and from school or university quickly and comfortably on their new bikes, while the youngest ones can practice their riding skills in the neighbourhood. And they’ll all be getting some exercise, too!
But it wasn’t Santa Claus who gifted these shiny new bikes; it was Derrick Murray and his wife Brenda, the founders of Bikes4Kids Cambodia, a charity that endeavours to equip underprivileged children with bicycles so that they may travel reliably to school while staying healthy.
Derrick is a lifelong fitness enthusiast with a special passion for endurance sports. Since arriving in Cambodia two years ago, he has dedicated his efforts to improving the fitness and athletic competitiveness of young Cambodians: he is the swimming coach at a private school in Phnom Penh and the trainer of the Cambodian national triathlon team. His desire to help young Cambodians from all walks of life led him to establish Bikes4Kids, which collects donations from local and overseas sponsors and uses them to purchase bicycles refurbished by the ingenious mechanics in Phnom Penh’s Hengly Market. The bikes are then donated to needy children via schools, charities and village administrations. In its first few months of operations, Bikes4Kids has provided 150 bikes to grateful children in several provinces. Their aim for 2022 is to deliver no fewer than 1000 of these ‘recycled cycles’.
Derrick also hopes to apply his pedalling power to benefit Little Hearts in other ways. Next year he plans to bring a group of cycling aficionados to Cambodia to take part in a seven-day bike tour of the country. They will wind their way from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh on dirt roads and through remote villages. Each participant will be asked to raise money in their own country through sponsorships, matching pledges and other fundraising activities prior to coming. When the tour ends – the finish line will be Little Hearts’ front gate – these funds will be donated to our Organisation.
Thank you, Bikes4Kids, for our early Christmas gifts!
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