Alaska to Argentina

By on October 23, 2013
Photo Credit  Kyla Corpuz | Dirk Spits and Wouter van Eenbergen land in Fort St. John from Alaska, while heading to Argentina . Their goal is to raise money thorughout their journey for children’s education projects in South America.

Photo Credit Kyla Corpuz |
Dirk Spits and Wouter van Eenbergen land in Fort St. John from Alaska, while heading to Argentina . Their goal is to raise money thorughout their journey for children’s education projects in South America.

FORT ST. JOHN – One man plans to conquer the road that lies between Alaska to Argentina.

Dirk Spits, 32, is the lone cycler who has dedicated the next 16 months to fundraise for children’s education in South America; on Oct. 13 he landed in Fort St. John.

Spits’ background is working with vulnerable youth in Amsterdam, who either lived on the streets or had family issues, and helped them with their education and assisted them in finding jobs.

“At one point, I really liked my job, but everything was too consistent, everything was always the same, and I got inspired by other people who were cycling and doing things for charity,” said Spits, while sipping on the only cup of coffee he would have that day. “I thought, I could do that, but why not do a really big trip, and then I started thinking about what charity I would help.”

Along with his public relations and communications partner, Wouter van Eenbergen, Spits devised a plan to make his journey as transparent as possible. Through their website, 99percentride.org, the two will document were each donated dollar is going towards.

“It’s going towards different charities but it all has to do with children and education in Central and South America,” said Spits.

Each month they are on the road they will support a different project. The projects are set out by an organization called, 1%Club, which brings together different needs around the world in one hub, and asks supporters for one per cent of their time, knowledge or money to help.

“If everybody donates one per cent, we can make a huge difference,” said van Eenbergen.

For the month of September, they put their fundraised efforts towards solar lights for children in undeveloped areas in Guatemala.

Another project they are helping is also in Guatemala, raising money to pay for teachers and school supplies for a school that recently had a second story added on to it. “The children can go to school, but where are the teachers?”

As for themselves, they have budgeted to live off $8 a day, which they fundraised for in their hometown before beginning this journey.

“I’ve always loved to travel and doing something to enrich yourself as well,” said Spits, on why he decided to embark on this adventure.

 

Kyla Corpuz
reporter@northeastnews.ca

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