It’s been one month since my last blog, and as I sit in the comfort of my apartment, where I have been busy working on program development while social distancing, I wonder how each and every one of you are doing in this devastating and confusing time.
I call it the COVID-19 limbo, an extraordinary and strange time, where each and every person in the world is going through the motions of grief. All of our individual struggles vary greatly, but one thing we all share, is fear of the unknown.
With our classes only running for 3 days before the mandated temporary closure of all schools, I have been feeling extreme pressure while coming to terms with the fact that we have chosen an incredibly difficult year to begin and sustain our charity.
Endless concerns about what this means for our cause, our ability to fundraise amidst this suffering, and the widespread devastation being caused in Cambodia, have been flying through my mind. I went through hysteria, panic and now, acceptance.
To reach this stage of acceptance and calm, I made the conscious decision to channel this anxiety and fear of the unknown and turn it into kms on the road. After many months off the saddle, I chose to get back on, and have been cycling each day…. I cannot recommend it enough!
Those that know me, know that I am not one to exercise regularly, I’ll even go as far to admit that prior to this, I only ever cycled in the lead up to hosting charity bike ride events. But with a flexible schedule, and time on my side, this has easily been the most productive way to calm my nerves and clear my head. Regular cycling has helped me enormously and has enabled me to redirect my focus to the aspects of life and work that I can control.
This year, I am now focused on two main goals:
- Continue to provide emergency relief packages to our enrolled families to help them survive through this economic loss, prevent child labour and ensure that their children return to school once the restrictions are lifted.
- Raise enough funds for REACH to make it through the year.
With the second point in mind, over the last few weeks our team has been strategizing how to best ensure that our inaugural fundraising bike ride across Cambodia can proceed. For those of you that don’t know, this is our main fundraising event which is central to sustaining our organisation. Scheduled for January 2021, this life-changing event see’s supporters from across the world fly to Cambodia to cycle 650kms across the country in aid of our cause.
We currently have 15 incredible individuals registered to this challenge, and thus far, despite the global climate, their commitment to our children remains strong.
Sean Doyle, joined our team on last years’ Cambodia charity ride that we hosted for another cause in Cambodia and was keen to explain why, despite the current global climate, he’s still very much committed to our 2021 event:
While our past riders’ commitment remains strong, as a result of this pandemic, in order to make our life-changing event more accessible for prospective first-time riders, we have introduced three key changes to mitigate concerns:
- * RISK-FREE BOOKING POLICY * Deposits for the event will now be directly collected by REACH. In doing this, we are able to guarantee that deposits are held in trust and will be 100%refundable up until 3 months before the ride departure.
- Flexible Tour Dates: We are desperate to ensure this event goes ahead in January 2021, however with so many unknowns, we have now negotiated the option to delay the tour (without penalty fees) if need be. If there are continued implications of travel restrictions, or any danger of health risks, the event will be rescheduled to a later date. This decision will be made by REACH no later than 3 months prior to the scheduled start date, by which point we will have a clearer understanding of the global situation.
- Reduced fundraising target from AUD$7,000 to AUD$5,000
I truly believe that if you are reading this and are financially stable, there is no better time to join us on this journey, here are the key reasons why:
- You can direct your focus in isolation to your personal health and fitness and begin cycling (indoors or out), this will in turn improve your physical and mental well-being.
- Instead of worrying about what cannot be controlled, you can channel your energy into doing good and changing lives of those less fortunate.
- You can be a part of the reason REACH makes it through our first year and can continue to help children and families in critical need.
I know for many of you, confronted by problems of your own, joining us on this adventure may not be possible. But for those that can, I strongly urge you to take the leap, and join us.
If you do, we will ride through this year together and when we meet in Cambodia, be it January 2021, or at later date, you will be a part of an incredible group, who through adversity, consciously chose to make the best of a bad situation; and to help children and families in critical need.
As it stands, we have 15 courageous individuals committed to this event… will you be our next?
Click here to sign up today and start making a difference!
My thoughts are with each and every one of you at this difficult time, now more than ever, we need to support one another, lift each other up, and drive positive change.
Emily and the team at REACH