One year after seven riders successfully completed the 2,500-kilometre cycling journey from Shenzhen to Shanghai in the "Ride for Hope" charity cycling activity, a group of eight volunteer riders organised by Futian Shangri-La, Shenzhen; Shangri-La Hotel, Guangzhou; Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin; and Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong will pedal off again from Guilin to Hong Kong on 3 January 2015.
Core team riders on road in 2013
Futian Shangri-La, Shenzhen initiated Ride for Hope in November 2013 to draw public attention and raise money for those in need. With the joint effort of 11 Shangri-La properties in South and East China, the activity collected RMB 343,000. As committed before the ride, the money was used to buy bikes for the orphans supported by the Will Foundation in Shanghai, to fund beach-cleaning activities organised by Shenzhen Blue Ocean Conservation Association and build water wells for a group of villagers living in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
In June 2014, the hotel delegates of Futian Shangri-La, Shenzhen went to the ethnic Yao villages in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, where the villagers have built 21 water wells with the money collected from Ride for Hope 2013. The harsh conditions in the villages during the water well construction inspection resulted in the hotel's commitment and decision to further help the local kids’ education, apart from continuing collecting funds to address the water shortage issue.
The villagers in ethnic Yao villages in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
With the goal to collect money to conduct renovation and extension works for a local primary school and build 40 more water wells for the villagers, eight volunteer riders will pedal off on 3 January 2015 from Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin. The ride will pass through Guangdong Province and is expected to reach its final point at Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong on 9 January 2015.
Mr. Nicholas Smith, hotel manager of Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai, will lead the seven-day ride. He also headed the core team of riders that cycled from Shenzhen to Shanghai in 2013.
"It is not easier, compared with last time, though its shortened to seven days, while last year it was 21 days, there is no rest day arranged in between, while there was a rest day for every four days," said Mr. Smith. "However, with dedication and persistence to help the villagers, we will complete the challenging tour on time."
This is how the villagers in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to get water
Mr. James Chau, a leading broadcaster, writer and United Nations goodwill ambassador, has been invited be the charity ambassador for the second Ride for Hope. Mr. Chau was previously a main anchor on CCTV News and a guest presenter on BBC World News.
"It is a true privilege to be supporting Ride for Hope and the vision it provides not only for the villages of Guangxi Zhuang, but also the millions of people who live in poverty worldwide. Increasing access to basic services is the first step to creating a fairer and more equal world – and I am proud that Shangri-La is a part of this critical process," Mr. Chau said.