PE student escapes the State for Kenyan community

A third year Flinders physical education student is determined to make a difference to disadvantaged communities in Africa, aiming to raise $40,000 through a marathon ride from Willunga to NSW on 7 July 2018.

It’s a big task, but a proven test for Jonathan Camac, who piloted his Escape the State challenge last year and raised $4,000 from the 22 hour, 430km ride.

This year, Mr Camac has upped the stakes and is recruiting fellow cyclists who are willing and able to join his quest to make a difference in poverty-stricken African communities.

All money raised from the 2018 event will go to Build Africa, a charity that seeks to raise rural communities in Kenya and Uganda out of poverty by improving schools and surrounding communities.

Mr Camac chose the charity for its holistic, cluster model. Each project targets schools and communities within a specific area over a number of years, developing hygiene, water and other infrastructure and practices to Unicef standards, while improving educational outcomes by providing learning materials together with teacher and parent support.

He says the goal of ‘Escape the State’ is to help others escape the state of poverty, with a focus on disadvantaged international communities. The name also refers to escaping the state of mind that one person alone cannot make a difference.

This year’s challenge will support schools and their surrounding communities in Eburru, Kenya.

A seasoned cyclist, Mr Camac is in his third year of the Bachelor of Education and Health Sciences double degree at Flinders University.

He is keen to grow participant numbers – and already has eight on board for this year’s ride – but acknowledges the physical demands of the ride.

“I wanted this to be a challenge because relieving suffering is a challenge,” he says.

“Most people would not have the cycling fitness to travel the 430kms in one day so those who take it on will hopefully be rewarded for their efforts by donations, which is how we’ll make a difference.”

A number of local businesses have signed up as event sponsors including Loxton Cycles, Fleurieu Peninsula Photography and Viewpoint Photography, together with local bakery chain Home Grain Bakery, which will place collection tins in their Aldinga, McLaren Flat, Mount Compass and Middleton shops throughout July.

To get on board for the mid-winter ride, sign-up or donate online.

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