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Crew with a Cause: Rallying for the Rainforests and the People

Mar 14th 18
By Laura Dunn

 

Nicholas Kerr, a 26-year-old deckhand/carpenter aboard M/Y Talitha, is raising money to take part in the Mongol Rally this July. The rally — an overland adventure that stretches 10,000 miles across the mountains, desert, and steppes traversing Asia and Europe — concludes on the steppes of Mongolia.

 

Accompanied by his teammate Yvette Shaw, the participants — dubbed the “Far East” team — will be traveling in a vehicle with a one-liter engine completely on their own (“no backup, no support, and no set route” according to the Mongol Rally website) and will have to raise at least £1,000 for charity.

 

Contestants will donate half the required minimum to Mongol Rally’s charity of choice, Cool Earth, a nonprofit organization that works with rainforest communities to halt deforestation and climate change. The rally also requires contestants to raise money for another charity of their choice. “I have chosen Surf Aid as our second charity because it was started by two New Zealand surfers who saw suffering and poverty as they explored the Indonesian coastline and had a desire to help this area they had fallen in love with,” says Kerr, who adds that this is a key area of rainforest degradation. “As a Kiwi and a surfer, I felt a connection with this charity.”

 

Surf Aid’s aim is to help improve health, wellbeing, and the self-reliance of people living in isolated regions. According to their website, they do this by providing practical tools like materials to build water tanks, water taps and toilets for clean water and sanitation, and mosquito nets to prevent malaria.

 

Kerr says the crew aboard M/Y Talitha have been “extremely accommodating in letting me have the time off” to compete in the rally. “The thing I’m excited for most is the feeling of getting in the car as we set off for the first [time], knowing there is an open road in front of us and two continents to cross,” he adds.

 

Far East is in the midst of fundraising for their two charities and welcomes both donations and corporate sponsorship. You can donate to them via their GoFundMe page. Follow Kerr for updates @NicholasKerr on Instagram, where he will be creating a vlog series.



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