After 12 days, 668 km travelled on her kick-bike and 386.740 CZK raised for orphans education, Marketa Franke, chairwoman of the C4C Foundation, wrapped up her trip and is home safe!
Author: Manfred Franke
Braving adverse weather condition, much of the trip saw Marketa riding in pouring rain with temperatures close to zero.
„The weather was much more challenging than I had expected. Since most of the time my socks were soaking wet, I just ditched them altogether at one point and rode on with bare feet inside my shoes“, remembers Marketa with a smirk.
Throwing in the towel apparently never crossed her mind: „I never gave that option serious consideration!“
One her way, she visited 15 children´s homes where C4C is active and their lecturers teach, mentors help or staff members participate in C4C´s popular online platform, HelpMate.
„My trip really helped me to better understand the challenges of the different children´s homes I visited and how C4C´s programs impact the children residing there“, recalls Marketa. „Talking to the directors, listening to their positive feedback was a big boost to my morale, which was sometimes battered by the weather. It gave me strength to carry on.“
On day five, stopping over in Pilsen and visiting an old folks home, her brand new kickbike was stolen. It was tied to the recreational vehicle, her husband was every night waiting for her in, to provide a bed, a hot shower and a breakfast.
„That was quite the shock for us, something we absolutely had not expected“, recalls, Manfred, her husband. „We didn´t hear a thing and didn´t notice someone cutting the lock we had tied her scooter to the van with.“
After the police had left, the question arose as to how to proceed, since it was Sunday. To top things off, it was Manfred´s birthday, which they were planning on celebrating „on the road“. Comments Manfred on the ordeal: „Well, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches…“
Unexpected help came from a group of fellow kickbikers in Pilsen, who assisted Marketa in securing a new kickbike even though it was Sunday.
And on Marketa rode…
Despite the contrary weather and some rough patches enroute, Marketa made it safely to the finishing line in her village of Kacice. A crowd of people were waiting for her arrival. The major was waiting with a hug and a smile and presented her with a bouquet, the children of the nearby Ledce children´s home prepared a huge banner, the Panda drumming band supplied riveting African rythms to the arrival, and courious cyclist stopped by to see the lady who just rode 668 km to help socially disadvantaged children have a future.
All is well that ends well….
Thanks to Marketa´s trip and her stamina to see things through, despite the odds, an incredible 368,740 CZK was collected, which is enough for 1,200 educational cycles for children from orphanages. Incredible!
And, finally, let´s recall Markéta’s original challenge “Before I turn 60, I´ll ride 600 km on my scooter to raise 600.000 CZK for the education of orphans!“Well, she´s is still 59 and contributions can still be received here: Darujme EN
Marketa and Manfred both send a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped to turn Marketa´s dream into reality.
It goes to prove that with a little love from everyone and pitching in – a lot can get accomplished!