happy children


While many of us can get consumed with the parties, shopping and the glitz and glamour of neighbourhood Christmas lights during the festive season, there are always some to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas; the spirit of generosity.

The participants of the Business Blueprint charity bike ride are just one example of individuals that put things into perspective for us during the Christmas season. Each year the charity, Hands Across the Water, organises bike rides throughout Thailand to raise funds for Thai children left alone and homeless after the Boxing Day tsunami. One of the biggest and well known bike rides- the Business Blueprint charity bike ride, begins on the 23rd of February 2015 and involves participants riding 500km from Bangkok to Phuket, to help fundraise for local Thai orphans and their communities.

One such individual is Brisbane woman Kim Hall, who after hearing about the experience from friends, was more than up for the challenge.

“The challenge of the ride definitely drew me in, as I always used to love bike riding…I am also so blessed to have a beautiful little girl that I adore, and the thought of children that don’t have that nourishing, all-encompassing love that parents can give is heartbreaking.” She said.

Hands across the Water aims to provide this nourishment and support. After witnessing the number of children left homeless and alone after the Boxing Day tsunami, founder Peter Baines established the charity in 2005 and in 2006, ‘Hands’ was able to build the first orphanage in the Thailand town Baan Tharn Namchaido. Since 2006, ‘Hands’ have focused on supporting and educating hundreds of children and their communities across Thailand. The committed team focus on building sustainable projects such as sowing rice, planting trees, funding further orphanages and building educational and training facilities, in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the children and their communities.

Hands Across the Water also ensure that none of the administration, marketing, advertising or personnel costs are taken from any of the funds raised for these communities. To find out more, feel free to visit their website: http://handsacrossthewater.org.au/

As Kim herself said, ‘with such a worthy cause and charity, how could I not take up the opportunity to give back to those less fortunate?’

The 500km is no easy feat however, which is why the Blue Print charity has provided all participants with a training guide and an Australian based ride co-ordinator. Furthermore, they have encouraged all participants to band together and motivate each other to train and fundraise.

“There is an enormous community feel with all the participants. We have had webinars provided by Business Blueprint on fundraising and training and there is a dedicated Facebook page where riders can discuss how they’re going. Weekend rides have also been organised, with partners offering to mind kids for couples that are both participating or for single parents, complete with BBQ get togethers after the ride.

“I hadn’t been on a bike in 20 years, so it was extremely daunting to think about riding 10km let alone 500km. But I have been pleasantly surprised (and thankful) at how quickly you can build up your stamina and fitness with regular rides. Like anything, it’s just about taking the first steps.”

Kim and her fellow participants are calling on the generosity of family, friends and the greater community to donate over the festive season. They are offering a number of options for individuals to contribute such as Hands Across The Water cookbooks, trivia events and sponsoring riders.  To find out more about how you can help, feel free to contact Kim at kim@mypond.net or view her fundraising efforts at https://sna.etapestry.com/fundraiser/HandsAcrosstheWater/bbp2015/individual.do?etapCacheBuster=1409393770599&participationRef=24235.0.170015351&shareMedium=label.facebook

You can also follow Kim on twitter (mrssquilach), Facebook and Instagram (@mrssquilach) to trail her and the rest of the team on their biking journey.


bike riding



And from all the VM Learning team- we wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy  New Year!