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Couple cycle off to Bethlehem
11:40am Sunday 4th April 2010 in News
Former Ermysted’s Grammar School pupil Philip Jones and his Mexican girlfriend Lorena Viladomat are cycling from Skipton to Bethlehem.
They have set off on their 3,000-mile ride and hope to raise money for a project to increase food security in the impoverished West Bank.
Their goal is to develop a low-cost aquaculture system, which can be used in rural areas to enhance food security. Both Lorena, 25, and Philip, 27, have already spent some time in the West Bank.
In 2006, Philip worked with the Bethlehem-based non-governmental organisation ARIJ and returned to Palestine last year with Lorena while she worked with the Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG) to investigate allocation of water resources.
It was during this trip that their current plans started to take shape. “We both got to meet several farmers and saw what a struggle it was to survive in these rural areas,” they said. “It made sense we should try to use our skills to do something helpful.”
Lorena, who graduated in third world development studies from the University of Middlesex last year, and Philip, who holds an MSc in Marine Environmental Protection from the University of Wales, Bangor, will work closely with two partner organisations in Palestine – the PHG and Bustan Qaraaqa.
The pair are seeking sponsorship and believe their cycling challenge demonstrates their commitment.
They hope to arrive at Bethlehem within 100 days. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website byspokes.org