Tuesday, February 12, 2013

First 200 of 1,230 Bikes Distributed/Paul Harris Presented to Aki Ra

50 Bikes Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Barrie Presented by Rotary Wheels for Learning Team Members and Battambang Rotary Members
Past President Nouv Saroeun Battambang Club, Bill Obee, Minden Club, Jim Goodwin Gravenhurst Club

Our 2013 Rotary Wheels for Learning Bicycle Distribution Team from Ontario Canada begins it's efforts to provide bicycles for transportation to school for rural children in Cambodia. In Battambang province, we distributed at total of 556 bikes in an amazing four days! These bikes were funded through the Rotary Foundation and sponsored by Rotary Clubs including: Barrie, North Bay, Sudbury Sunrisers, Barrie-Kempenfelt, Barrie-Huronia, York, Brampton Heart-Lake, Brampton and Washago and Area Centennial. This video taken on Day One, sees our team assembling the accessories and fine tuning 200 bikes with local Rotary Club of Battambang members. Many Thanks to Battambang Rotary Past President Nouv Sarouen and members from her club for all their efforts in this monumental feat.

Lynda Valcourt and Sharon Foley affix bike accessories

Along with giving out bikes, our team provided mosquito nets and two tons or rice to children and impoverished families.

A special thanks to Khmer Dental student Khlaing Norak for giving all the children dental hygiene lessons  before the bikes were given out.

One of our distributions in Battambang were filmed by Cambodian television and telecast the next day.

Watch a video of these first 200 bikes at the following link:  http://youtu.be/dlOMwZKmXzw

After our team's efforts to distribute 556 bikes in several districts throughout Battambang province, we took a three-day excursion onto Siem Reap to see the famed temples of Angkor Wat.

There, we also had a very special tour of the Cambodian Landmine Museum given by Bill Morse. Our team had the honor of meeting Aki Ra and presenting him with a Paul Harris Fellow.

Watch a video of the presentation at:

Richard Augustine, Aki Ra, Steve Hayhurst

Since the end of the Khmer Rouge era, former conscripted Khmer Rouge child soldier, Aki Ra, has made it his mission to 'Make my Country Safe for My People'. As a child soldier, he was forced to lay landmines throughout the Cambodian countryside. Since the war, Aki Ra risks his life daily to remove many of these estimated five million landmines that still plague the Cambodian countryside.On these demining missions, Aki Ra has built schools and has taken in orphaned and landmine-afflicted children to his home, museum and relief centre located outside of Siem Reap. Aki Ra's passion and perseverance has earned him a 2010 CNN Top Ten Hero Award. The Gravenhust Rotary Club, District 7010, is proud to present this courageous man with the Rotary Paul Harris Award. The award was presented to him by Gravenhurst Rotary President Steve Hayhurst and Richard Augustine during a 'Rotary Wheels for Learning' bicycle distribution trip to Cambodia. To support Aki Ra, see: cambodianselfhelpdemining.org/

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