Extreme Challenge: Vietnam cyclists meet survivors ahead of their five-day fundraiser

The 19 cyclists taking part in Extreme Challenge: Vietnam have arrived in Cambodia ahead of the ride from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh. They spent today visiting our projects in Cambodia, and getting a firsthand insight into exactly how the money they are raising will help change lives and end slavery:

This extreme off-road cycling challenge is all to raise funds for life-changing anti-trafficking projects run by Hope for Justice. The team taking on ‘Extreme Challenge: Vietnam’ are cycling from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, in just five days. That’s 377km across fields and dirt tracks in tropical heat and punishing humidity.

Hope for Justice, a global anti-trafficking charity celebrating 10 years of changing lives, has well-established aftercare and reintegration projects for survivors of sex trafficking and labour trafficking in Phnom Penh, and wants to use fundraising from Extreme Challenge: Vietnam to expand this work into more countries.

The team of 19 cyclists includes four staff from Hope for Justice plus high-profile, entrepreneurs, company directors and influencers from the worlds of business, entertainment and philanthropy.

Hope for Justice CEO Ben Cooley is joining the ride, having previously taken part in the hugely successful ‘Zoe Challenge’ ride five years ago, tracing the route from Riga in Latvia to Southampton in the UK taken by one of the first victims rescued by the charity, known as ‘Zoe’ to protect her identity. Discussing why he has decided to get back on his bike for another tough challenge, Ben Cooley said: “Our team spent time in Vietnam and discovered the stories of children who were just seven years old, forced to work in the mines, enslaved and neglected, even to the point of death.

“We knew we had to do something about this. Extreme Challenge: Vietnam is our response: to raise awareness of this horrendous situation, and more importantly, to do something to make a difference.”

The cycle challenge runs from October 30th to November 4th, 2018.

Phoebe Southall is Partnerships Manager at Hope for Justice and is helping to organise the event. She said: “We want to live in a world free from slavery and as part of that vision we need to set up more projects just like these across the globe – and the fundraising from this Challenge will be invested in powering that ambition!

“We are incredibly grateful for the dedication the cyclists are showing to this cause by getting involved, and we hope as many people as possible feel able to donate towards this challenge and our life-changing work. Having seen our projects in Cambodia for myself last year, I know that every penny makes a huge difference for girls who are recovering from some of the worst experiences imaginable, and walking on a journey towards restoration.”

Find out more about Extreme Challenge: Vietnam and sponsor the cyclists here.