A “crazy” adventure across the vast and unpredictable lands of India aims to raise funds for two deserving charities.
Wanaka paramedic Andy Vause is taking a tuk-tuk on a 3000km journey across India and hopes to raise $50,000 in the process.
Mr Vause will travel with two friends, Matty Lovell, of Christchurch, and Jalen MacLeod, of Prince Edward Island in Canada.
They would start the tuk-tuk adventure in the north of India in the desert city of Jaisalmer near the border with Pakistan, and end at the port city of Kochi in the south of India, Mr Vause said.
The journey would begin on January 1, and was expected to take two weeks.
“We want it to be two weeks but we really don’t know what we might find on the way that could change that,” Mr Vause said.
He would be documenting the journey and providing updates to inspire others and encourage them to give along the way.
“We are going to have updates every day on social media, so people can follow what we get up to.
“We want people to witness the adventure, but we also expect some hard times. This is not going to be an enjoyable experience the whole time and it’s going to push us to our limits,” Mr Vause said.
As well as his filming duties, Mr Vause would double as the engineer.
“I’m the only one of the three who has bit of mechanical experience. A tuk-tuk is basically a glorified motor mower, so there might be some challenges,” he said.
“We want to go out on a limb and do something as crazy as this and show that it is possible to raise this amount of money, to inspire the next person.”
The money raised would go to two charities – the Inspire Foundation, and the Cricket Live Foundation – which both aimed to give young people a leg up, Mr Vause said.
The Cricket Live Foundation was chosen after the three men viewed a story on TVNZ’s Sunday programme about its founder, Alex Reese, of Christchurch.
Mr Reese moved to India at 18 and was struck by the disparity between rich and poor, which motivated him to set up the foundation to lift young people out of poverty and encourage them to learn, Mr Vause said.
Seeing how the Inspire Foundation helped young people to achieve their potential was the reason for choosing that charity, he said.
“One charity concentrates on the lowest of the low in India and the other concentrates on those who will be able to hopefully change the world at the other [end of the] spectrum,” Mr Vause said.
Through personal and business donations, $25,000 had already been raised.
“All of our airfares, all of our vaccinations, getting the tuk-tuk, accommodation, is totally separate from the 50 grand.
“So all the money we raise will be split 50/50 between the two charities,” Mr Vause said.
To follow the journey and donate, visit www.earthtoindia.com/donate