In 2012 Matt had his first experience in India. Over a 6-month period he cycled 4000km from Deli to Goa. It was an incredible journey for Matt, which changed the direction of his life’s path and awakened him to the needs of vulnerable children.
Matt was so touched by the kindness and generosity of the people of India, even those with little or nothing had so much love to give. It was this generosity which inspired Matt, the “peddle pushing philanthropist’ to return to India in 2013 to continue his journey, where his expedition "Cycle for Brighter Futures" had purpose in fundraising to help the less fortunate children of India.
Cycle for Brighter Futures started ‘rolling’ in India during November 2013. Over a period of 7 months, Matt Brice cycled 4000km from Goa to Kanniyakamuri, which is the southern tip of India. He then followed the east coast to Kolkata and on to Varanasi.
The purpose of this campaign - “Cycle for Brighter Futures” was and continues to focus on raising funds for the Brighter Futures Study Centre in New Delhi. This centre is aimed at abolishing illiteracy in one of India’s most poverty stricken slum communities.
Matt is committed to reaching his fundraising goal with the help of many generous donations and his fund raising events which have included, raffles, auctions and Pop-Up Charity Feasts where Indian cuisine can be enjoyed. This campaign has been fully funded by Matt and where all funds generated goes to supporting the continuation and growth of the Brighter Future Study Centre.
Where are the funds going?
Children living in slum communities in India are extremely vulnerable. They suffer chronic malnourishment, and at risk to life threatening diseases, sexual abuse, child trafficking and child labour.
In 2011 a new and exciting partnership was formed between Lakshya Aakriti Foundation (LAF) and the Australian children’s charity Forget Me Not (FMN) to transform the lives of some of North India’s most vulnerable children.
In May 2012 projectHELP was born - a ground breaking community outreach program in aid of vulnerable children living in appalling slum conditions on the outskirts of New Delhi. projectHELP is divided into four stages - Health,Education, Livelihood and Possibilities,
Stage 2 of projectHELP is Education - Quality education and empowering communities at the grass roots level is the key to changing vulnerable children’s lives for the better, and forever. Real and lasting change CAN be brought about by the positive actions of many - one child at a time.
"Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development." Kofi Annan
The Brighter Futures Study Centre (BFSC) is the manifestation of stage 2 of projectHELP. It currently provides for 82 children from families living in Kalyanpuri on the slum fringe in Noida, New Delhi. A number which is constantly increasing! The Centre’s function is to operate school-readiness programs for children, teaching them basic classroom skills such as: participation; cooperation; art; music; and early literacy, which are all requirements to enter formal schooling. The Centre is also working with families and local authorities to obtain birth certificates for the children, which allows them to enrol into the formal school system.
How can you get Involved??
- Join our Group Cycle for Brighter Futures tour this November
- Volunteer at ProjectHELP in Delhi
- Register as a WWOOFer on our organic farm in Varanasi
- Become a regular donor for ProjectHELP
Recent highlights from ProjectHELP
- A pilot project launched during the opening of the Spring 2015 India Handicrafts and Gifts Fair on February 20th and run from March 2015 - March 2015. This project will create full-time employment in the handicrafts industry for mothers from the community, making them self sufficient.
- Introduction of city excursions and monument tours for the children at BFSC.
- Four students from our Brighter Futures Study Centre, Shanku, Ritik, Shivam and Mannu, now with birth certificates formally enrolled in education!