Bike to GROW tops $100K entering Ontario

Mary Fehr and Sarah French celebrate Canada DayFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2015

Past MEDA interns cycling across Canada for Ghanaian women

WATERLOO, ON – As they biked across the Manitoba border into Northern Ontario, Mary Fehr and Sarah French had extra power pushing their pedals.

Past MEDA – Mennonite Economic Development Associates – interns Fehr and French are on a four-month bike ride across Canada, called Bike to GROW, to raise $150,000 for MEDA’s GROW (Greater Rural Opportunities for Women) project in Ghana.

In a matter of days, the Bike to GROW duo surpassed $75,000 – the halfway point to their $150,000 goal – and then $100,000, a special surprise in time for Canada Day.

“Reaching these milestones in our home province was amazing. We’re thankful to many giving Canadians and Americans who have supported us thus far,” says Fehr. “It provides the motivation we need to bike up those long hills, continue in the rain and start the day when we’re already tired.”

“Complete strangers have opened their homes, hearts and wallets to provide a place to sleep, a complimentary meal or a friendly face in unfamiliar places,” says French. “We’ve met so many people who are inspired by our efforts and MEDA’s work. Mary and I in turn are equally touched by their generosity and kindness.”

The young women look forward to reaching their hometowns in the coming weeks: Sarah is from Picton, ON, and Mary from Leamington, ON. “Our friends and families have been a great support system while we’re on the road,” says French. Fehr adds, “But we’re eager to celebrate with them in person at the finish line.”

Bike to GROW began May 18 in Victoria, BC, and will conclude Sept. 1 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. On the way, Sarah and Mary are stopping at MEDA chapters, churches and community centres to speak with locals about MEDA, the GROW project and their experience.

Funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), MEDA's GROW project focuses on improving the incomes and food security of 20,000 women soybean farmers and their families in Northern Ghana over six years.

To learn more, follow their experiences, or donate to the Bike To GROW campaign, visit www.biketogrow.com.

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For more information, please contact:
Linda Whitmore - lwhitmore@meda.org
Jaclyn Stief - jstief@meda.org
519-725-1633

About Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA)
MEDA is an international economic development organization whose mission is to create business solutions to poverty. Founded in 1953 by a group of Mennonite business professionals, we partner with the poor to start or grow small and medium-sized businesses in developing regions around the world. Our expertise includes a full range of economic development tools: financial services, improved technology, business training, better access to markets and equity investment. Our work most often focuses on women, youth and the rural poor. We believe that all people deserve the opportunity to earn a livelihood and that unleashing entrepreneurship is a powerful way to alleviate poverty.