A small crew of cyclists came through Hope on Friday afternoon, led by Ilan Levy, who is on a cross-Canada journey.
Levy will cycle a total of 8,249 kilometres as he makes his way from B.C. to Newfoundland.
He is riding to raise awareness of a small, Canadian non-profit organization called SchoolBOX.
“It started in 2006 and currently builds schools and creates education packages for kids in Central America,” Levy told The Standard.
Education packages are simply school supplies, pencils pens, note pads and other items that many potential students can’t afford.
Levy is trying to raise $100,000 on his journey, which began on June 7 and should come to an end on Aug. 26.
“We average about 130 kilometres a day,” he said.
The money he raises will go towards creating eight classrooms and producing 8,000 education packages.
“I had already been thinking of doing this, independently, as a personal experience,’ said the avid cyclist.
But when he heard about the work being done by SchoolBOX, it seemed to be a natural fit to combine his ambition to cycle with his desire to help.
“I realized it would mean so much more if I did it for a cause.”
While only a few days into his long tip, Levy said the response so far has been great.
“The reaction has been totally positive. People are cheering me on, some are handing me $10 bills, other cheques.”
Originally from Israel, but now living in Ontario, Levy said some people in Canada don’t realize what a struggle an education can be for some children.
“It’s hard for us to imagine, but in Nicaragua many families live on less than a dollar a day and more than 51 per cent of children don’t finish grade five.”
“For these kids, the simple gift of a notebook and pencil can mean the difference between a future filled with learning and one with little hope.”
Anyone wishing to learn more about the SchoolBOX program, or wanting to donate, can visit www.schoolBOX.ca