Local activist Emily Falk along with her father Don Falk are set to head out on their Fourth annual Ride To Empower on Aug. 20-21st.
The dynamic duo will embark on a 300km round-trip from Rimbey to Linden over the course of two days with all funds going towards the Somali Women’s Scholarship fund, the flagship initiative by the Global Enrichment Foundation – an organization started by Amanda Lindhout after her experiences in Somalia.
“It was October 2010 and I heard Amanda Lindhout speak at Red Deer College and I was super inspired by her story and moved by what she was doing coming out of the experience she had in Somalia,” explained Emily.
“I was really passionate about making a difference and so while I was coaching a basketball team at Hunting Hills High School I organized a free throw fundraiser to support the Somali Women’s scholarship fund which provides a four-year scholarship to women living in Somalia, including a living stipend to provide for housing accommodations and school supplies. We were able to raise over $4,300.”
The following year, Emily was still passionate about raising money for the scholarship fund and from this passion sprouted the Ride To Empower.
“A friend and I organized the first ride where we road our bikes from Red Deer to Canmore and we raised around $8,000 providing two young women with opportunities to go to university,” she said.
“The idea behind the scholarship is to provide quality education to women and girls in Somalia, because currently the literacy rate for women ages 15 and up is only 25.8 per cent and fewer that one in four girls has the opportunity to go to primary school and less than one per cent have access to post secondary education.”
The last two years of the ride has included Emily and Don who train on evenings and weekends in the warmer months and will ride anywhere from 30-60 km per training trip.
Falk explained that her motivation comes from, “Knowing the money you are raising can go so far and knowing that it has the potential to empower someone on the other side of the world to follow their dreams and achieve their goals.”
The pair has been accepting both flat pledges as well as per kilometer pledges, where individuals and organizations can pledge a dollar for every kilometer completed on the trip. Any one wishing to pledge to the Ride To Empower may contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org.