Wednesday, August 15, 2012

REPORT | Kathmandu Kora Cycling Challenge 2012


History
Kathmandu Kora Cycling Challenge started in 2011 bringing cyclists together for a cause. Two teenagers, Maxim Jones from UK and Shishang Lama from Nepal, took the challenge to raise money for SAMATA School and OCCED orphanage in Kathmandu by cycling around the city. The challenge successfully took place in July 2011 with around Rs. 450 000 raised and distributed to SAMATA School and OCCED. The event was conducted by CHAIN bikes along with support from other organisations and 35 other riders who joined the event.

Concept
The route is a Kora, an auspicious clockwise circumambulation around Kathmandu. Traditionally Kora is performed by making a walking circumambulation around a temple, stupa , or other sacred site. In accordance with Buddhist tradition and belief, Kora is always performed in a clock-wise direction.

For the Kora Cycling Challenge, the riders gather to start the challenge and ride along the agreed route (the route is GPS'ed and online). Participation is free. For each kilometre they ride they request people around them to contribute a small amount. Entire donation is voluntary. People can also pledge online and name the rider they are supporting. It is not about winning, but rather something to rejoice about at the end of the challenge.

Kathmandu Kora 2012
Following the success of first ever Kora Cycling Challenge last year, Kathmandu Kora Cycling Challenge 2012 took place on Saturday, July 21st. The event, organised by socialtours, Talent Inc. and Save the Children, brought together around 300 riders from Nepal and abroad for the 50 kilometre challenge around Kathmandu valley to raise awareness and money per kilometre biked for a worthy cause. The flag-off from Patan was quite a spectacle in itself, with the convoy of bikers along the trail certainly gathering a lot of attention during the whole day.

Money raised this this time around goes to upgrading birthing facilities in Rukum, one of the most remote districts in Nepal. Every year, a completely unacceptable 25,000 newborns and children in Nepal die due to bad birthing facilities. Working with Save the Children and the EVERYONE campaign (www.everyone.org) under the slogan “No Child Born to Die” the idea is simple: We need to save everyone. Rukum has some of the poorest conditions of birthing care in Nepal and is often neglected when it comes to social development. With the initiative and the money raised we will assist the process to make changes to the better in Rukum, and act as a trigger to eventually making the lives of people better in remote districts outside Kathmandu.

This year's event gathered support from over 20 corporate companies. With almost 200% of the initial target of Rs. 500,000 raised, the Kathmandu KORA Cycling Challenge successfully put forward the statement of "No Child Born To Die".




Way forward
The amount raised by the 2012 event will be channelled to District Health Office Rukum through Save the Children partner organisation, Rukumeli Samaj Development Centre, to buy equipments such as mattresses for birthing beds, torch lights, stainless scissors, etc. In Kathmandu, the money will be channelled via Karma Foundation through a zero leakage mechanism (no administrative costs). In the coming months we will be reporting back via social media and email how the money raised will be used and when the equipment will be delivered to Rukum.

Considering the social development possible through programs like this, we plan to give this initiative continuity in the coming years with the same concept of raising funds based on the challenge of riding. Preparations for next year's KORA to ride again for another fantastic cause are already well on their way. The date is set for Saturday, July 20th, 2013. So mark your calendars! 

The exact cause for the 2013 event is yet to be decided. The money contributed by people who pledge for this event goes transparently and without leakage to the intended beneficiaries. To ensure this we have an established foundation channelling the money and conducting the monitoring.

Being an off-season event (July, monsoon), this event is for the whole community and a chance to be involved in doing something good. Public can make a positive contribution towards change to better. The past events clearly showed how a popular sport like cycling can be used as a means to raise awareness and funds for social inequalities that exist in Nepal.

For the Kathmandu Kora Cycling Challenge community page on facebooka visit www.facebook.com/kathmandu.kora.

For the next year's event details visit www.facebook.com/events/479594385402772.

For more information, please contact:

Raj Gyawali
socialtours | nepal
Tridevi Marg, Thamel
Kathmandu, PO Box 1663 Nepal
Tel: +977 1 4412508

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