More orphanages, a tolerable situation for disabled people and resources to be made available for women suffering from the effects of the war in Balkan. But most of all we want the opportunity to highlight the situation of the most vulnerable people in Europe and give them a future without stigmatisation. This is the reason why a group of cyclists have chosen to embark on the 2,500 kilometres long route from Skopje in North Macedonia to Varberg in Sweden and participate in the Cycle4Europe charity event.
“Ultimately, this is about creating more humane living conditions and preventing unnecessary suffering”, Sabina Grubbeson explains, founder of Loza Foundation and initiator of Cycle4Europe.
On 5 September, the cyclists will line up on the starting line in Skopje, North Macedonia, ready to tackle the 2,500 kilometres that will bring them to Varberg and the west coast of Sweden. The journey is a part of the charity event called Cycle4Europe, which is arranged by Loza Foundation and BEWiSynbra in aid of the most vulnerable people living in the four poorest countries of Europe according to the Human Development Index (HDI) of the UN; namely North Macedonia, Kosovo, Moldavia and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
“We hope that this fundraiser will lead to fewer children and adults having to sleep rough. That they will be able to avoid criminality, be able to dress warmly and have shoes to wear. Many of us forget that there is extreme poverty just a cycle ride away from anywhere in Europe. You don’t have to travel to other continents to experience social and economic misery.”
Sabina Grubbeson brings to light that the inhabitants of this region lack appropriate care, education and financial opportunities. And as disabled people are more often than not refused state aid (financial support from the government/authorities), families are forced to send their children off to institutions with inhumane living conditions.
“Life at an institution may be compared to human storage. Children and adults are not allowed out. They are not receiving any schooling and in some cases, individuals are locked up and left lying in their own faeces. Many have to endure horrendous living situations”, Sabina Grubbeson explains.
The Cycle4Europe project was realised when a Norwegian company called BEWiSynbra started to pay attention to Loza Foundations’ work to promote socially sustainable development. Main sponsor BEWiSynbra now funds the support vehicles, overheads as well as the accommodation and travel expenses for the cyclists.
“As BEWiSynbra is covering all the overheads, all other donations can be transferred in full to our operations and our ongoing work. I am extremely grateful for everything BEWiSynbra does.
For instance, 1,000 SEK equal a child’s yearly consumption of clothes, shoes and activities that counteract alienation.”
Loza Foundation is a charity foundation that works to improve the lives and current living standards of vulnerable people living in some of the poorest parts of Europe. It was established in 2017 and has been granted a so-called 90-account by the Swedish Fundraising Control.