Nick Vaney recently travelled to Rwanda to take part in a Muskathlon in support of children in extreme poverty.
A Muskathlon is a physical endurance event organised by 4M who support several worldwide charities. 4M is a worldwide movement of men with core values of Faith, Brotherhood, Justice and Adventure.
Nick first came across the idea of the Muskathlon when taking part in an Xtreme Character Challenge (XCC) weekend with 4M in the Scottish Highlands.
The event in Rwanda was specifically to support Compassion who are a global charity supporting children in extreme poverty in various third world countries. The following link is a brief video showing the difference that sponsoring a child can make. https://vimeo.com/170132764
The fundraising target for a Muskathlete is £10,000 but also to get children sponsored. Each child sponsored counts as £1,000 towards the target.
Sponsoring involves paying £25/month and writing to your sponsored child, typically 2 or 3 times a year and receiving letters in return. This means you can see the difference your sponsorship makes on a personal level. The money ensures they get health care, a good diet and most importantly a good education.
Twenty volunteers travelled from the UK but met up on location with groups from The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Norway combining to make it 120 people in all.
Rwanda is a country which suffered unimaginable horror and tragedy with the Genocide back in 1994 but really has the feel of a country getting back on its feet with hope for the future. “The people there are some of the friendliest I have ever met anywhere.”
The Muskathlon is a week event in country where several days are spent visiting the Compassion projects. This included spending time at a child survival unit where mothers who are unable to support their babies receive support and education, not just in how to care for their children, but also in a trade or skill, such as tailoring, which will enable them to earn an income so that they can financially support their own families. “It was great to be able to see where the money gets spent and that it all does really go to support those most in need”
Nick said “It was an amazing and humbling experience to meet these families, we got to spend an afternoon with one family in their house which 5 family members lived in and was about the size of the average living room. We taught them how to play the card game UNO and had a real fun time with all three generations of the family joining in.”
Whilst in Rwanda Nick was able to meet the child he sponsors through Compassion. “It was really special to be able to spend an afternoon with Ferdinand who turned out to be a talented footballer!”
The week culminated in the Muskathlon which was an awe inspiring day. Rwanda is the Land of a Thousand Hills and we cycled off road through 120km of beautiful terrain. “It was truly the ride of a lifetime along hilly African tracks and trails with spectacular views and kids running alongside throughout the day. To ride for such a purpose, knowing that our efforts were truly changing peoples’ lives, was a real privilege and one of the best things I have ever done!”
So far I have raised over £11,000 and got 7 new children sponsored which is fantastic! The UK group of 20 people has raised over £60,000 and got over 100 children sponsored so far. If you would like to support this initiative by donating cash or sponsoring a child you can do so on the link below.