Slimstock’s Erik de Witte joined Pimp My Tuk-Tuk Charity Ride 2017
This year, Slimstock took part in the Pimp My Tuk-Tuk (PMTT) Charity ride to raise money for the Foundation of Goodness (FOG). 54 drivers participated in the 8-day drive through Sri Lanka in Tuk-Tuks. Slimstock Operations Director South East Asia, Erik de Witte, shares his experience with us.
Trip of my life
Before starting the trip via PMTT, we had already raised $250,000. With this and funding from previous years, FOG has done some amazing work to improve the livelihood of rural communities.
Starting in Colombo on the 15th of September, we headed via Mihintale to Trincomalee then on to the East coast to Arugambay. In addition to visiting the villages, schools and hospitals, driving in a Tuk-Tuk gave us all the opportunity to capture the beautiful scenery Sri Lanka beholds. From Arugambay, we travelled to Monaragala then down the south coast to Galle, traveling a total distance of 1245 kilometres
During the trip, we stopped off in several different villages to see the water purification plants which had been installed at a cost of $20,000 each. These plants provide clean water as opposed to the heavily contaminated water that the villagers used to consume. They provide clean water to 350 families (1,500 people) in each village. We also visited some of the schools where the children were excited to show us their new bikes they had received to ride to school. Now the children don't have to walk long distances to school anymore.
A closer look at the Foundation of Goodness projects
On the 6th day, we made a stop at the Meth Sewa Home for Special Needs which was an eye-opener. One morning, Niroshan and his wife found a homeless disabled baby on their doorstep. In rural Sri Lanka, taking care of a disabled child can be very challenging and sadly, there is a social stigma attached to these children. Niroshan and his wife took the child in and cared for it with no outside help. Today, they care for 85 children with a variety of special needs. PMTT has taken on the challenge to provide these children with solar powered electricity in order to reduce or even eliminate some of the bills for them.
Centre of Excellence
Another unforgettable part of the trip was our visit at Seenigama, home of FOG’s Centre of Excellence. Here, we met Kushil Gunasekera, who is yet another inspirational Sri Lankan. He founded FOG and gifted the charity the land it stands on. He guided us and brought home the reality of the Tsunami which hit Sri Lanka on the 26th of December 2004. FOG’s Centre of Excellence is a unique rural development initiative delivering 30+ programs including Pre-School, Women’s Enterprise & Empowerment, IT Centre and a Dental & Medical Health Clinic.
Slimstock has been very grateful to be able to sponsor this great initiative. If you would like to find out more information, please feel free to contact Erik de Witte or have a look at PMTT and Foundation of Goodness.