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19.06.2011
From Zurich to Berlin for a Good Cause




On Friday June 17th two Swiss men arrived in Berlin. Now many may think this is not news worthy as surely hundreds of Swiss men arrive in Berlin every day. But these men didn’t arrive at Tegel or Berlin main station. In fact they also didn’t arrive by car either. They peddled, and not with bicycles. No they peddled a pedalo from Zurich to Berlin.


Their tour started on May 29th when Hansruedi Knöpfli, leader of the Swiss Marketing Academy, and Stefan Tobler, Vice Mister Switzerland and marketing professional, lifted anchor in Zürich for their trip down the Limatt into the Aare and then the Rhine.


When one thinks of Zurich and Berlin, hardly anyone would think of traveling between the two cities by boat. These two men however wanted to do just that, and not just to remind us of the interconnected waterways within Europe, but to help raise funds for KOVIVE.


KOVIVE is a Swiss charity for Swiss children. Though many visiting Switzerland or having just arrived here may find it hard to imagine, even Switzerland has its share of families existing at the poverty level or below it. Children often bare the brunt of poverty, where their families simply cannot provide them with the things their school friends receive. These children often do not get to go on vacation or to camps and reenergize themselves. According to the UN Children’s convention, children have a right to active recreation, rest and play. This is where KOVIVE steps in and gives children in need this ability, by helping them get away to camps and enjoy their school vacations.


The pedalo voyage was also for a uniquely Swiss program in Cambodia. The Dragonfly Cambodia program gives young orphaned Cambodians a chance to complete an apprenticeship and learn real skills so that they will not be forced into a life of crime or prostitution. The project was started by Swiss Marketing Academy lecturer Paul Wallimann and his wife Sara Wallimann as well as fellow lecturer Max Luther.


The first project that Dragonfly Cambodia is establishing is a restaurant and vocational school. Students will be able to work in a restaurant and obtain Swiss quality training in the gastronomy industry. 


After 19 days on Europe’s rivers and canals the two men reached Berlin and raised money for two very good causes. The two still need to tally all the money they’ve collected, and you can help by making a donation of any amount, even a few francs will help, at the links below. As soon as the numbers are in we’ll post them here. We look forward to reporting the total of the generous donations in the coming days.


Find more information (German) and pictures to the trip under: www.pedalofahrt.ch


If you or your organization would like to donate to one of the charities you can find out more here:


KOVIVE: www.kovive.ch


Dragonfly: http://dragonflycambodia.org/de/forderverein/

Article written by: Christian Langenegger, co-founder of Marathon Sprachen



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