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If you're looking for a holiday with some action and an opportunity to 'give something back' Save the Children New Zealand's Vietnam Cycle Challenge may be just the thing to spin your wheels.
It offers 13 days in Vietnam, travelling north to south, and includes guided sightseeing as well as a five-day mountain bike challenge that will raise funds for vulnerable children.
The trip runs from 9 - 21 November 2008. Cyclists will set off from the ancient capital of Hue, on the Perfume River. You'll ride with experienced guides on a 435 kilometre route south to the coastal town of Nha Trang and its swathe of unspoilt beaches, where you'll have plenty of time to rest tired limbs.
Before donning your cycle shorts, however, you'll get the chance to see first hand how Save the Children programmes help improve the lives of some of Vietnam's most at-risk children.
Though Vietnam's change to a market economy has brought many benefits, the gap between rich and poor remains and children are especially vulnerable. It is estimated that one in every three children in Vietnam lives in poverty. As well, the incidence of HIV infection continues to rise – and children are particularly at risk.
In the northern city of Hai Phong Save the Children's education initiative helps equip children and young adults with information and skills to help protect themselves from HIV infection. It provides those children orphaned by AIDS and others who are equally vulnerable with access to care and support services to ensure their basic rights are met.
Funds raised will go towards this programme – and others like it in Vietnam – that give children the chance of a better future.
The trip is open to all ages, though anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Hotel accommodation, meals, mountain bikes, guides, cycle crew and group transport are provided.
John Bowis, Save the Children New Zealand Executive Director says: "Anyone who is relatively fit, or willing to train, can participate. A training schedule is included in the registration pack."
For more information on how to book, contact Inspired Adventures Ltd: www.inspiredadventures.co.nz/scnz. A fundraising target of $6,500 has been set for each participant. This covers flights, accommodation and meals and includes a donation to Save the Children.
You will receive a registration pack with itinerary details and information on Vietnam, plus tips on ways to enhance and maintain your fitness levels. A comprehensive fundraising guide provides lots of ideas on ways to target supporters – from trivia nights to online sales and raffles. We'll also provide regular support and advice for your fundraising initiatives.
More information about the trip can also be found on Save the Children New Zealand's website: www.savethechildren.org.nz
There are just 20 places available which will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.