We live in a world full of possibilities and a world that is changing every day. With the progress made in all facets of life, there are numerous global issues that still need to be taken care of particularly poverty, healthcare, education, climate changes, ocean pollution and so on. These issues can only be solved by collective efforts of all of us to bring about “change for the better”. 

I, Roystan D’Souza and Naveen Dinakar, pursue Master’s degree in International Business & Engineering at SRH Hochschule Heidelberg, Germany. Being passionate about sports and our affinity towards social work back in India, we wanted this passion of ours to be utilized meaningfully to bring about a positive change in society. 

Studying abroad seemed to be just a dream a year ago and now we are grateful to have obtained this opportunity, but some can only hope to obtain even basic education. Basic education being the foremost building block for career growth, we decided to help a child under poverty, receive educational support. This idea soon began to take its roots as we decided to cycle for a cause and raise funds to support the American based NGO - Children International (www.children.org) in their mission to end Global Poverty. Our goal was to raise enough funds to sponsor a child's education for a whole year. 

We made our itinerary of 4 days of cycling from SRH University to our partner University, Thomas More in Geel Belgium. In total covering approximately 430 km in 4 days. This idea was greatly supported by the International office team.
At the starting point, April 20th -SRH Hochscule, Heidelberg

Day 1 – April 20th 2019: Heidelberg to Bingen am Rhein, Germany –1 to 103 km 

The big day had finally arrived. Anxious and excited at the same time, we had our bags packed with necessary travel accessories, cycle repair kit, protein bars, and water stocked. It was a bright sunny morning as we started our journey at 09:00 from our University SRH Hochschule. Not less than 3 hours in the journey we hit the countryside of Germany as we passed Frankenthal. Suddenly we were seeing open fields stretched for miles, farms with livestock, horses and huge windmills. At 14:00 on the clock, we stopped at a small city named Alzey for lunch and interacted with the locals there informing them about our campaign. We were quite surprised at how interested the folks out there were, which gave us the much needed motivation. The second part was strenuous as we had to ride between fields with no roads, while the winds were determined to be against us. Finally, we arrived at our first destination Bingen am Rhein at close to 19:45. We stayed in an Airbnb booked room and updated the day 1 pictures on social media. 

Day 2 – April 21st 2019: Bingen am Rhein to Bad Honnef, Germany- 104 to 220 km 
(Bingen-Boppard-Koblenz-Bad Honnef)

We were ready to start day 2 of cycling at sharp 08:00 as we had to cover more kilometers than the rest of the days. We hoped that the roads would favour us, unlike Day 1 and fortunately the entire ride was beside the river Rhein with a dedicated cycle lane. With the weather God’s being good and wind luckily not blowing against us, we averaged at 16kms per hour. Unlike the first day, there were a lot of people cycling, setting up BBQ grills along the riverbed, kids playing frisbees. With frequent short breaks, we met groups of bikers and cyclists and distributed our campaign handouts while encouraging them to spread the word as well. We reached Bad Honnef at 19:30hrs and stayed at a friend’s place. 

Day 3 – April 22nd 2019, Bad Honnef to Aachen, Germany – 221 to 325 km
(Bad Honnef- Bruhl- Erfstadt- Dueren-Aachen) 

We left Bad Honnef around 8:15 am. The first 25 km were along the Rhein which helped us kick start the journey after which we entered city lanes. Roads to Aachen were challenging as we were going higher up north and had to ride on unpredictable ups and downs. But again, with good cycle lanes, we could manage to a good 13-15km average pace per hour. The journey presented us with beautiful landscapes and small towns on the way. We stopped for lunch at 12:30 at Erfstadt and continued to the next stop Dueren. The weather was pretty hot, and we had to constantly keep ourselves hydrated. Reaching Aachen at 18:45hrs, we campaigned for a while at the Aachen Bahnhof, drawing the attention of the local folks to join us and contribute towards our mission. We stayed at another friend’s house in Aachen that night. One more day to go and we were fatigue struck.

At Klenkas Denkmal statue - Aachen 

Day 4- April 23rd 2019, Aachen to Geel, Belgium – 326 to 430 km

(Aachen- Vaals- Maastricht-Hasselt-Beringen-Geel)

There was just one thought that kept us going, “it’s the last day, we have come this far, we can do it”. 
We planned to leave by 07:30 as we had to reach the University in Geel by 17:00. The most exciting thing of the last day was we would ride across cross 3 cities – Germany -Netherlands-Belgium, how often would anyone get to do this! We decided to take fewer stops as we could not afford to waste time. We had lunch when we reached halfway at Hasselt, Belgium, now we could not wait to see the signboard with GEEL written on it. Well, at 16:00 we saw Geel 6 km away, heartbeat racing faster than the wheels, we finally entered Thomas More University, frankly speaking, this was one of the best feeling of accomplishment. We received a very warm welcome from Prof. Marc Clerx and few international students who were all eager to meet us and be a part of our campaign. We were provided with refreshments and then took a brief walk around the campus.
At Thomas More University, Geel, Belgium

Every day's progress was updated in various social media platforms through which we could connect and reach out to more people. We managed to collect 535 euros at the end of the campaign with generous contributions from family, friends, and beneficiaries on the way. We are very grateful to Miss. Pauley, Head of International relations and Miss. Anja Loos along with the International office team for their constant support and encouragement. We also thank Prof. Marc
Clerkx from Thomas More University for extending his support from Belgium.

With 535euros collected, we are proud to say that we could sponsor Suman Kundu, a 13-year-old boy from Kolkata, India. We will be sponsoring his education and health care for 16 months starting from August 2019. With this small contribution of ours, we hope to see Suman follow his dreams and prosper in his future endeavors.

Lastly, this adventure of ours is something we will always cherish. We believe we belong to 'One Race and are the Citizens of the World' and everyone out there can bring about a change.