Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|CROSS-CANADA CYCLE EVENT FOR WAR-AFFECTED CHILDREN|
|07/03/01 at 19:32:06|
|PRESS RELEASE - For IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
CROSS-CANADA CYCLE EVENT FOR WAR-AFFECTED CHILDREN
OTTAWA , June 28 - On Canada Day, Alen Okanovic will begin the longest bike ride of his life in a bid to draw attention to the plight of children in war-torn countries.
Okanovic will be making a three and a half month-long journey from St John's, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia, covering nearly 9000 kilometres. Along the way, he will attend a series of fund-raising events for the war-affected children of Chechnya, Iraq and Palestine.
In 1994, Okanovic and his sister were among hundreds of refugees who fled the ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia.
"I was too young to do anything to help during the war. I am lucky I escaped,but some victims weren't that lucky and saw bullets before food. Now that I'm living in Canada I have the opportunity to help others," says the 27 year-old Calgary resident.
The tour is sponsored by Human Concern International (HCI), a federally registered charitable organisation.
"Recent wars have exploited, maimed and killed more children, more callously and more systematically than ever before," says HCI executive director, Kaleem Akhter. "HCI applauds Alen's determination and willingness to put his life and family on hold for more than three months and to push past pain and exhaustion to achieve his goal."
Accompanying Okanovic on this gruelling journey is 20 year-old Zenel Gashi, a former refugee from Kosovo. Gashi will be following Okanovic's tracks in a van as he makes his across the country.
About HCI: Since 1980 Human Concern International has contributed over 20 million dollars towards long-term development projects and in the form of direct relief assistance to poor and war-torn countries. HCI has also been providing assistance to Chechen refugees and the people of Iraq and Palestine.
For more information contact:
Hala Adam, Program Co-ordinator, Human Concern Intl. : (613) 742 5948
Fax: (613) 742 7733
HCI - Toll Free: 1-800-587-6424
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