A team of students moved by the human tragedy of the recession will kayak down the longest sea fjord in the world in Norway in just 4 days in June 2011. The team are undertaking the 200 kilometre challenge in order to raise money for charities working with those directly affected by the economic crisis. The AMP Team 2011 comprises of seven young men who were moved to action after reading about the increasing suicide rate amongst those suffering stress and anxiety due to mounting financial difficulties. All money raised by the team will be donated to four national charities; Aware, Console, Respond Housing Association and the Samaritans.
According to team member Iain Mays, the realisation that something needed to be done was the main motivation behind the challenge.
“Reading the papers and seeing the number of people that have taken their own lives due to debt and financial stress had a profound impact on us all. We knew we had to do something for those suffering the greatest burden of this recession. Much of the focus has been on the financial implications of this recession but we would like to focus on the emotional, societal and family implications. We hope not only to raise money for our chosen charities, but also highlight the issues that are affecting so many people in Ireland today.”
The AMP Team 2011 chose charities that operated nationwide and are assisting those affected by the recession. All of the money raised is going directly to the four charities as the team are funding their own travel, accommodation and other expenses.
Doug Orme Lynch who is one of the co-ordinators, says all the money raised will assist the four charities at a time of reduced government funding and donations.
“The services provided by Console, Aware, Respond Housing Association and The Samaritans are even more valuable in these trying times. While it might sound strange, we actually feel grateful to be graduating during a recession. If we had left college during the boom years, we could be amongst the hundred of thousands of people in Ireland who are in debt and living in negative equity. Unfortunately, others have not been so fortunate and that it why we decided to undertake this challenge. Raising money and awareness of the issues is important to us so we hope our efforts will help, even if in only a small way.”
The team are kayaking down the Sognefjord in Western Norway which stretches 205 kilometres. With a maximum depth of 4.921 feet, the fjord has a greater depth than the ocean floor. Although many of the team have never kayaked before, they have spent the past three months preparing for the challange. The AMP Team 2011 will leave Ireland on June 3rd and commence kayaking on June 6th. Further information on the challenge, as well as photos, blogs and videos is availabe on AMP 2011 Website
A short video can also be viewed on AMP 2011 on Youtube