May 15, 2015 was a big day for Sarah French and Mary Fehr. It was the day they began their fundraising campaign called Bike to Grow, in which both undertook an 8,710-kilometer trek across Canada.
Former interns at the Mennonite Economic Development Associations, or MEDA, French and Fehr were both inspired by their experiences and have since topped $100,000 in their crowdfunding campaign approaching Ontario. “Complete strangers have opened their homes, hearts and wallets to provide a place to sleep, a complimentary meal or a friendly face in unfamiliar places,” said French. “We’ve met so many people who are inspired by our efforts and MEDA’s work. Mary and I in turn are equally touched by their generosity and kindness.”
During their internships with MEDA, both saw poverty firsthand, witnessing it in Nicaragua and even experiencing it for themselves in Tanzania. One issue that stuck out to them was the inequality that female workers faced. In both Nicaragua and Tanzania, many women worked to help support their families, but they either couldn’t contribute as much as men could or they were single parents, among other situations. French and Fehr saw an opportunity to help change that with a project called GROW, which stands for “Greater Rural Opportunities for Women.”
In order to help families grow, each member who is contributing financially should be able to reap fair benefits, no matter the gender. Check out http://www.meda.org/bike-to-grow to donate and find out more information about Bike to Grow. The journey ends September 1, 2015 in Newfoundland.
– Anna Brailow