June 6 2003
Daewoo Challenge will raise funds for a new SOS Children's Village in Nepal
06/06/2003 - Two British adventurers will embark on the Daewoo Challenge, a gruelling drive from London to Seoul, to raise funds for SOS Children's Villages. The donation will be used to build one family house at an SOS Children's Village currently under construction in Nepal.
On June 9, two British adventurers will embark on the Daewoo Challenge - a 16,000 kilometres gruelling drive from London to Seoul to raise funds for SOS Children's Villages. On August 14, the end of the 80-day journey a la Jules Verne, the Britons and GM Daewoo executives will hand over the collected funds to SOS Children's Villages in South Korea.
As a sign of gratitude for their own SOS Children's Villages, organisation representatives in South Korea have decided to hand over the donation to a poorer Asian country. The money will serve for building one family house at a village currently under construction in Bharatpur, Nepal, which will provide homes for some 140 children.
In 1963, the first SOS Children's Village outside of Europe was built in the South Korean town of Daegu, with money raised through the highly successful Rice Grain Campaign. Back then, the organisation's founder Hermann Gmeiner had asked donors for one US dollar, in return for one grain of rice symbolising luck and life.
In the Daewoo Challenge, the Britons - author Richard Meredith and university graduate Phil McNerney - will drive their specially prepared Daewoo Kalos through 20 countries, often encountering inhospitable terrain and dangerous territories. Along the way, they will visit SOS Children's Villages in Europe as well as in Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and South Korea.
The idea to raise funds for SOS Children's Villages stemmed from GM Daewoo, the South Korean automobile manufacturer that has close ties with the children's welfare organisation.
"I was delighted to agree as children's causes are close to my heart, and especially with so many of them innocently suffering from the effect of wars and conflicts in our world today," said the 54-year-old Meredith, himself a father of two. Meredith conceived the plan for the Daewoo Challenge as a means of reaching the Chinese capital of Beijing, where he will be teaching at a university.
SOS Children's Village Secretary General Richard Pichler said: "I am very pleased that Richard (Meredith) and Phil (McNerney) have joined forces with GM Daewoo to support our organisation. It sounds like a fascinating and exciting challenge, which I believe will capture the imaginations of many of our representatives around the world."