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Ultra-Endurance Athlete to Embark On 3,500+ Mile Ride Across America To Combat Human Trafficking On a Tandem Bike named ‘Kindness’

Friday, 17 May 2024 08:05 AM

3Strands Global Foundation

The ride will shine a light on the realities and scourge of Human Trafficking and raise funds for prevention and protection programs in partnership with Rotary Action Group Against Slavery and 3Strands Global Foundation.

SACRAMENTO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / May 17, 2024 / On May 19, 2024, Naresh Kumar, CEO of Freedom Seat and ultra-endurance athlete, will embark on a 3,500+ mile ride across America to shine a light on the realities and scourge of human trafficking while raising funds for prevention and protection programs to fight this heinous crime.

The ride is a partnership between the Rotary Action Group Against Slavery (RAGAS), 3Strands Global Foundation and Kumar's non-profit, Freedom Seat. Together, the organizations are working to fight and prevent human trafficking across the globe.

"Partnering with Naresh to spread awareness and support his efforts to raise funds for prevention programs to end human trafficking aligns perfectly with the mission of the Rotary Action Group Against Slavery", stated Bob Deering, RAGAS Chair. "By connecting, empowering and equipping Rotarians across the globe to engage in their communities to eradicate all forms of modern slavery and human trafficking we are making a significant impact on ending these horrific crimes. Global power at the local level."

Naresh himself grew up in near poverty in Chennai, India where women and children are exploited regularly. And in 2015 in Nepal, when he was propositioned on a street to have a child delivered to his hotel room, he knew that he wanted to do everything he could to eliminate these horrific crimes. He also has chosen to ride on a tandem bike inviting strangers to pedal with him.

When asked about this unconventional approach Kumar explains its relevance to the cause. "In tandem bike terms, the cyclist in the back seat is called the "stoker". The stoker can't steer or brake, illustrating the loss of freedom experienced by trafficking victims. Through this experience, participants grasp the profound value of freedom. The simplicity of biking becomes a catalyst for understanding, prompting a shift in perspective. The tandem bike emerges as a potent symbol of solidarity and resilience. Through its wheels, we propel the movement forward, inching closer to a world where every person enjoys the fundamental right to freedom." Kumar welcomes and encourages anyone along the route who wants to join him in the empty seat to ride, whether for a few feet or a few dozen miles.

The numbers are staggering, according to the Walk Free Global Slavery Index, an estimated 50 million people were living in modern slavery on any given day in 2021, an increase of 10 million people since 2016. According to the report, one in four are children and a total of 54% are women and girls.

"By providing education and prevention programs to educators across the globe, we can teach those who are in contact with children on a daily basis how to recognize and respond safely to various forms of violence, including complex issues of human trafficking", stated Ashlie Bryant, CEO of 3Strands Global Foundation, an organization whose mission is to create a world free from human trafficking. "We also have created programs designed for corporations, Rotary groups, parents, caregivers and many more to help them understand, recognize and navigate prevention and intervention with confidence and resilience. This is how we make an impact to end human trafficking."

Kumar takes off from Astoria, Oregon on Sunday, May 19th and will ride for an estimated six weeks to his final destination in Washington, DC with a goal of raising $250,000 in donations. His progress will be tracked via a GPS device that will be with him throughout his journey. Those interested in tracking the journey, making a donation or learning more about human trafficking can visit pedaling4freedom.org.

About Rotary Action Group Against Slavery
The Rotary Action Group Against Slavery is a global, action-driven network of Rotarians dedicated to freedom fighting, justice seeking, problem-solving and advocating for basic human rights working together to abolish modern slavery. They are committed to connect, empower and equip Rotarians to engage their communities to eradicate all forms of Modern Slavery/Human Trafficking locally and around the globe. They have developed a Community Awareness and Prevention Education (CAPE) Plan, which will equip and empower their members to execute local Community Awareness & Prevention Education projects in their communities - and around the world. RAGAS assists members to connect with other like-minded Rotarians to take action to end human trafficking/modern slavery. For more information visit www.ragas.online.

About 3Strands Global Foundation
3Strands Global Foundation is a non-profit organization working towards a world free from human trafficking. Through their PROTECT prevention education program, they have educated millions of students on how to stay safe from human trafficking and exploitation. Their Employ + Empower program has provided support and economic empowerment for over 1,000 survivors. Visit their website at 3StrandsGlobalFoundation.org to learn more about their mission and how you can help.

About Freedom Seat
Freedom Seat foundation is dedicated to combating human trafficking and restoring dignity to those affected by it. Founded on the belief that freedom is the highest form of living, Freedom Seat harnesses the power of human powered expeditions to raise awareness and funds to end slavery. Our mission is to shine a light on this dark reality and inspire action to bring about change. Freedom Seat is committed to advocacy, education, and empowerment. Together, we pedal toward a world where every person can live free from exploitation and oppression.

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Links:

Link to video showing Naresh on a similar ride from India to Germany in 2019.
Link to images of Naresh for use. Source: Freedom Seat

Media Contact:
Ann Bouchard
[email protected]
Cell: (916) 521-7440

SOURCE: 3Strands Global Foundation

Topic:
Environmental, Social and Governance
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