The fifth stage of the world wide bike tour “The world without orphans!”has been completed
The trip around the world for the sake of the world without orphans. This was the motto of the team of the former Mariupol street kids riding across the entire Ukraine, Russia and Europe within the last 5 summer seasons. The former street kids show by their own example how life of a child can change if he or she is taken to a loving family and they call unto people not to be scared of adoption and to take kids from orphanages.
This year the team has completed the fifth stage of the worldwide bike action. There is 22ooo km behind them and 13 countries from the Japanese Sea up to Atlantic one: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and France.
This year the team was accompanied by the winner of the contest “The Voice 2015” of Ukraine – Anton Kopytin. He took part in multiple events where the team was sharing their idea: “Orphanages are not the answer for a child. Only a family can be the answer”.
Gennadiy Mokhnenko, the President of the Charity Fund “Pilgrim”. Pastor, the father of 32 adopted kids: “Take an orphan to your home if you can! If there is enough space for three there always will be enough space for four. Orphanages must stay in the past. And surely children should not grow on streets. Orphans need families. And these guys are positive about it When while in Switzerland we had climbed a hill the team was shocked by the local beauty and one of them burst into tears after realizing that it is the 12th country in his life. Could he dream of it if he grew up in an orphanage, could he imagine that if he had not been taken to adoptive family? These guys know for sure what they ride around the world for!”
The route of the fifth stage was lying through a rough hilled landscape, German and Swiss Alps and they had to overcome the complicated crosses under a cold shower or a scorching heat. The electronic scoreboard in one of German cities showed plus 41 degrees Celsius.
Gennadiy Mokhnenko: “100 km on the road in such weather exhaust you completely. Besides the heat from the asphalt and from the motors of big trucks that were overtaking us all this in total made the last European stage rather tough one. But it couldn’t’t stop those kids who grew up on streets and in sewers! The children on streets and in orphanages are not the children of the second class – they are talented, having will power and purpose driven!”
The answer to the question “What is all this insanity for?” is not obvious for everyone. But for the team that even though exhausted still broke through the icy showers and mountain crosses the answer is quite clear. Below you can read two of the hundreds of such stories:
«It is 3 orphans less in Riga now!!! I thought I would help one orphan and maybe later I would take another one but it turned out I met three of them… The sacrifice you pay riding across the world on your bikes with the orphans helped me to make the decision!!!May God bless you and your team”!
Here is the letter from Austria where the team even didn’t ride: “I was also inspired by your bike tours The World without orphans. I was watching you for years. As a result my husband and I took two kids from an orphanage in addition to our 4 biological children. I must admit that it was a real fight since having 4 kids here in Austria we had no right to adopt kids from orphanages and we were not suitable age wise. In Austria kids of the age of 6 and above in fact have no chance to get from the orphanage into a family and they stay in orphanages till they turn 18.This is why going through the whole procedure and realizing that otherwise these kids won’t be given a chance to live in family and to be capable to become loving and loyal parents of full value. It made us even stronger in our persistence… And we have won the battle! The kids are with us. Recently the girl, she is 11, called me Mom 20 times. It is unusual for her. I get it. The children need Mom and Dad that would take care of them and help to grow whole and independent personalities who will become good parents in future too. It is worth the risk”.
Having strengthened by such stories the team reached Paris.
Gennadiy, Mokhnenko, the organizer of the worldwide bike action “The world without orphans!”: “Not at random place but in Paris were the former street kids taking a walk! I have another “happiness attack”. I wiped tears of my eyes in secret looking at my little eaglets. The guys are cool. It is a real sports feat for the sake of our dream”.
The last long and difficult race the guys dedicated to the honored partaker of the team Slavik. He is a former street kid, one of the adopted sons of pastor Gennadiy, he crossed with them the bigger part of the worldwide tour – across Ukraine and 15000 km through Russia. As the other teens he dreamt about the European stages of the bike tour. However he is at the war now and he asked Gennadiy not to stop the worldwide bike action “The World without orphans!’
In a port city Saint Nazaire, France, in August 13th the team was expected by the Atlantic Ocean as their finish line. Next year the team of the worldwide bike action plans to cross the USA. This stage will be the last one.
Gennadiy Mokhnenko: “Thanks to all of you who go towards the dream - the world without orphans – with us. We thank everyone who supported the team, who gave food, fuel, accommodation, bikes and their repair works, who helped to organize the events. Many hundreds of people in some or other way made it possible. And special thanks to those who heard our message and in whose homes adopted kids woke up today!”