The Mongol Rally is a racing event from London to Ulan-ude, Russia, starting July 19th this year. Four American boys, 10,000 miles, 8 times zones, 5 mountain ranges, 3 deserts, 24 countries in a 1995 VW Polo — its going to be one adventure-filled race going! We have partnered up with the gracious Mountainsmith to make a difference! Rocking the uber rugged Mountain Trunks on top of our baby-yak sized car! We’ll be sure to make all the other ralliers jelly.
The rules of the Mongol Rally as a simple as 1, 2, 3.
One, per the official guidelines, “You can take any car, as long as it’s ridiculously small with an engine of 1 litre or less.” Check! One 1.0 litre VW Polo, circa 1995 coming right up. A car with this small of an engine is going to be a challenge for much of the journey, especially with the incredible mountains and places with no roads.
Two, “You are on completely on your own.” There is no backup and no support for participants of the Mongol Rally. Solve your problems yourself, declare the guidelines, or it’s not really an adventure to begin with.
Three the why. Three words. “Save the world.” Or “water, rainforests, orphans.” The purpose of the Mongol Rally is to raise a minimum of £1000 (about $1,500) for charity, £500 of which goes to the official charity of The Adventurists, “Cool Earth. Participants have the option of donating the other £500 to a charity of their choice. So why not choose two more charities? Go big or Go Home right? We chose Charity:water and Right Steps, Inc.
Over the last 40 years, half the world’s rainforests have been destroyed. HALF! That’s why Cool Earth decided to go about things differently in the conservation-verse. They put indigenous people, or as I like to call then indiGENIUS, back in control of the world most endangered rainforest. How? By building better incomes, better schools and better clinics, Cool Earth is able to give their partner villages the resources they need to keep their forest intact.
We have partnered with Cool Earth to save at a minimum of 8.3 acres of Ashaninka Rainforest, which is just over 6 football fields of beautiful leafy greens. Just $15 will get you a first down! Our Ashaninka project in Peru lies at ground zero for destruction on the Western Amazon. We’re working alongside 15 villages in the Ené Valley to form a protective shield for millions of acres of neighboring forest. Sponsoring Ashaninka rainforest funds the villages rainforest protection and community investments to ensure our partner communities are best placed to keep their forest standing.
Focuses on life’s most basic need — water. Water is just the first step to significantly cut down disease rates in the developing world. Almost everywhere charity: water builds a freshwater well, sanitation training is provided. In some communities, latrines are built, and at the minimum, simple hand-washing stations made with readily-available materials. Clean water can greatly alleviate the world’s disease burden, but only with education and hygienic practice.
Charity: water is committed to using water as a gateway to sanitary living.If you’re like us, you don’t spend too much time thinking about water — it’s everywhere we go. When we’re thirsty, we flip a handle or push a button. When we’re dirty, we twist a shower knob. When our garden needs watering, when our pasta needs to be boiled, when we use the bathroom — water is just an arm’s length away.
But, in many developing countries, women and children walk for hours, up and down mountains, just to collect water that can make them really sick.When those projects are finished, charity: water will send us proof in pictures and GPS coordinates, so we can see the actual people and communities we impacted.
It is estimated that 12 million orphans live in the country of Nigeria: some abandoned, some whose mothers died in childbirth, many who lost their parents due to HIV/AIDS. Right Steps, Inc. exists to walk with Christ and serve not only the abandoned and orphaned children of Nigeria, but the homeless and destitute women as well. They focus on education and shelter with an overwhelming dose of love.
I think making a difference is one of the most important aspect of the Mongol Rally. The rally shows that even people, who are stuck in the cubical jungle, can go on meaningful experiences and adventures. Setting aside the time for a multi-week adventure, at which the end, you change the world for the better. Now that is an investment in yourself that everyone needs to make.
Life is all about learning and pushing your limits to find new ones. It’s a dance between risk and recklessness. So the 6 weeks that we embark on this incredible learning experience through the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, the beautiful countryside in Mongolia, the humanity scattered across our ambitious route are going to change us and the world for the better. We will get the chance to experience new cultures and see what makes people across the globe, happy or sad and bring together all those experiences right here on our blog. The adventure begins July 19, 2015!
-Jonathan for Yaks on Yaks on Yaks
twitter: yaksonyaksonyak (missing an “s”, twitter character limits. gahh!!)