By: Scott Brills
So, what are your plans this summer? A group of six young adventurers from the U.S. and U.K. are getting ready to set off on the trip of a lifetime as they drive a pair of Subaru Foresters over 20,000km from England to Cape Town, South Africa. Shoebaru, as the project is called, will be a test of wits and endurance as the group travels through over two dozen countries on their way south, avoiding war zones, bandits, hazardous wildlife, and some of the worst driving conditions the planet has to offer.
“This is the culmination of over a year of planning, and hundreds of hours of work between the six of us,” stated team member Scott Brills. “We are all pretty well-traveled, and most of us have a bit of rally experience, so we’ll be as prepared as is possible. Of course, things will definitely go wrong though.” The team will be entirely on their own, and there will be no check points or assistance provided along the way, so they need to be 100% self-sufficient. When asked who the skilled mechanic is out of the group, Scott replied, “none of us—we’ll just have to rely on luck and the kindness of strangers to make it through at times.”
Besides making it to the finish line, the goal of the journey is to raise funds and awareness for a couple of charity projects taking place along the proposed route. The team will be supporting two major causes: Awassa Children’s Project—an educational and training center for children orphaned by the AIDs epidemic in Southern Ethiopia, and charity: water—one of the world’s leading philanthropic institutions, aiming to provide clean, safe drinking water to those in need around the world. To facilitate fundraising, Shoebaru is signing up sponsors and securing individual donations directly to the charities prior to the launch date, as well as continuing promotional efforts during the trip.
Shoebaru will also be partnering with various organizations to facilitate meeting and interacting with local peoples:
- World Clothes Line: a one-for-one clothing company owned by team member Mallory Brown—will be providing articles of clothing to give away to orphans and schoolchildren along the way.
- Paper Feet: an innovative company that creates footwear out of recycled billboard vinyl will be donating product so that the team can offer shoes to those in need en route.
- Internations: the world’s largest ex-pat community will be teaming up with Shoebaru to organize events along the team’s route.
- ActionAid International: an International NGO dedicated to fighting global poverty that is headquartered in South Africa will be partnering with Shoebaru to organize visits at project sites in several countries. The team will also be donating both vehicles to the organization once reaching Cape Town.
- Rotary International: the world’s oldest International service organization, will play a part in facilitating clothing drops and local visits throughout the trip through the participation of individual Rotary clubs along the route.
The drive commences on July 14th, 2012 and is expected to take approximately 3 months to complete. For more information visit http://www.shoebaru.com.
Awassa Children’s Project – http://www.awassachildrensproject.org
charity: water – http://www.charitywater.org
World Clothes Line: http://www.worldclothesline.com
Paper Feet: http://www.tombolo.com
Rotary International: http://www.rotary.org