This is a guest post by Caitlin Monahan
Peace Corps Volunteer in Community Youth Development
Hello! My name is Caitlin Rose Monahan and I am a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mongolia. My primary job as a Community Youth Development Volunteer is working with the school social worker at School #2 in Arvaikheer. However, I want to tell you about a secondary project I am working on. Some weeks ago I heard a man named Dan Austin on my Travel With Rick Steves Podcast. He was talking about a book he wrote on pilgrimages and travel and how to make any trip more meaningful by making it a pilgrimage, which doesn't need to be about religion. He also talked a little bit about his organization called 88Bikes. 88Bikes is a micro-philanthropy project that gives bikes to kids in developing countries who are challenged to be their own heroes. Well I thought to myself, I am in a developing country! And I work with kids!
So I got Mr. Austin's email from his website and told him a little about my situation and he emailed me back the VERY NEXT DAY! So here we are down the road - they are interested in doing a large endowment for disadvantaged youth here in Arvaikheer. We are discussing 500 to 1000 bikes. There are still lots of logistics to work out and a lot of work ahead, but we can make this happen!
The organization is really great. They don't keep an office or a staff, so all the money goes to projects. It is only $88 to sponsor a bike. The kid that receives your bike that you sponsored will get a postcard that shows the Sponsor, a world map, and the Sponsor’s hometown. Photos and film of the project are made available to the Sponsors, and each Sponsor receives a thank-you letter with a photo of the child who received their bike. If you can't sponsor a bike, any amount you can give, of course, is greatly appreciated.
They are planning on coming here in early September to buy the bikes as locally as possible to help support the economy. Also, they want to set up the bike shop in a traditional Mongolian ger!!! How great is this!?!?
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