As part of the campaign for peace in Ukraine, the 95-mile ride from Rochester, Minnesota, to Decorah, Iowa, last year was a huge success thanks to your overwhelming support. Our efforts raised $7,536 for an Oncology Clinic in Khemlnytskyi, Ukraine. Here is the story of how the Rides to Rights came to be, and here's more about the ride for Ukraine. Further information is available at www.ridestorights.org.
This year, we will ride to support a cohort of Afghan students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).
As the Taliban took over Afghanistan in 2021, 150 female students were evacuated to the United States by the Asian University for Women (AUW), a school in Bangladesh where the Afghan students were enrolled. These Afghan students had all been selected by AUW because of their academic excellence, their commitment to education, and their integrity, courage, and resilience in the face of adversity.
When teachers in the UWM English Language Academy (ELA) heard about the Afghan students who were temporarily housed at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, they immediately acted to bring ten of them to Milwaukee with the help of Eastbrook Church in Milwaukee. Eastbrook Church provided host families for the students to live with and, together with the staff of the UWM ELA, created the Afghan Student Partnership of Milwaukee (ASPOM), which has dedicated itself to settling and supporting the students.
In January, 2022, the Afghan students enrolled in the ELA to strengthen their English skills. UWM couldn't offer a full package of financial assistance for the students, but it discounted certain fees. Fundraising efforts by ASPOM covered the rest.
After eight months of dedicated language study, the students enrolled as undergraduate students at UWM in the fall of 2022. Now, seven of the ten students are continuing their studies at UWM. Current and future financial aid, together with ASPOM funds, university discounts, and private scholarships, have provided for the students’ tuition and some of their living expenses for the next four years.
However, with everything so different, from language to food, and underlying trauma to deal with, it has been challenging for the students to adapt to life in Milwaukee without their families. Therefore, the Rides to Rights team hopes to raise $10,000 to help the students meet their ongoing financial needs, such as textbooks, school supplies, and pocket money.
Mahatma Gandhi said, "If we want real peace in this world, we should educate children." The seven UWM Afghan students were pursuing their education before their lives were upended by the Taliban and continue to pursue it for the good of their families, community, and country. I hope you can join us in this effort to support them. Any biker with any level of experience is welcome. Your willingness to contribute is all you need. The possibilities are endless when we ride together for rights.
Keeping our commitment to having an authentic impact, every dollar we raise will be shared on our website and social media pages. Be sure to follow us. If you are interested in getting involved or have questions, please get in touch with us.
Fundraising team (6)
Raised $755 from 14 donations
Rides To Rights
Raised $910 from 7 donations
Raised $400 from 6 donations
Raised $143 from 4 donations