An Exceptional Adventure – Cycle for Safe Water
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“Cycle for Safe Water was one of the most exceptional adventures I’ve been privileged enough to enjoy and I can’t recommend it highly enough!” Georgie Hopkins (2022 CfSW)
After several postponements due to Covid-19, Indian visa and flight restrictions, our Cycle for Safe Water event finally happened in November 2022. Below, we hear stories from a few of the participants. Firstly Abi, who had never been to India before and rarely cycled anywhere, preferring to run, swim or ski!
“Reappearing from Covid-19, like many I was looking for a challenge to get my teeth into. Cycle for Safe Water seemed to be something so exciting, different, sporty but somehow unachievable, completely out of my comfort zone of 40 something mum of two teenagers!
Whilst engaging in initial communication with Katie Alcott, founder of Frank Water and Sophie Hartman of Holidays in Rural India, they reassured me that I was more than capable of getting involved with my reasonable level of fitness and a thirst for discovering a place which I knew nothing about.
Sophie guided me through each step of the preparations, each question of mine was met with kindness and consideration, whilst Katie and her team at Frank were a force of strength in supporting me to reach my fundraising target, each question met with that personal touch.
The journey was probably the most enormous part of the planning for me personally, the thought of flights and Indian roads, were something which preoccupied probably too much of my time. This part of the adventure I am particularly proud of, as all aspects of journey didn’t stress me in any way at all. Indian drivers are “colourful” but they don’t drive quickly!
Within the group of cyclists, it was the level of comradeship that I really wasn’t expecting, and something which touched me deeply. We were of differing fitness levels and lifestyles but a group which didn’t share a crossed word at any point, only laughter and stories.
To be able to see the incredible work of Frank Water, helped us all understand how diverse the solutions are. We saw with our own eyes the fact that Frank Water works alongside the people, the people who know and love their land.
We had the chance to see first hand how the work has changed lives for the better. Truly incredible.”
Kat, who joined the event with her husband Julian commented…
“We spent 6 days cycling – between 4 and 6 hours a day and on 2 of those days we visited several of Frank’s incredible projects. Firstly, we were joined by 2 of the Frank staff at our hotel who introduced us to the work they were doing in those areas. We then went on foot and saw these projects first hand and even got to speak to many in the local communities who’s lives had significantly improved as a direct result of Frank Water’s work. For many, the installation of ponds and wells nearer their villages meant they did not have to travel so far to collect water. For other villagers, capturing water in these ponds in the wet season meant they could have 2 crops of rice a year instead of 1. It was very empowering to see the impact of Frank Water’s work.
Staff at Frank Water explained that much of their work was to facilitate how the communities come together, assess their water management needs and then access funding from the government – for example by helping them with the application process and I was so encouraged to see that most of Frank Water’s projects were funded approximately 10% by them and 90% leveraged from the government. Frank Water’s funding goes a long way.
I would so encourage anyone to sign up to Frank Water’s “Cycle for Safe Water 2023”. It was an incredible trip and one I will never forget. We made many lifelong friends and are planning a “Coast to Coast” reunion with everyone in September this year.
To find out more head to the Cycle for Safe Water 2023 page.