'How on earth?' is the question I lately often ask myself. About a year ago I thought to myself what if... what if we got a group of students from different countries together to ride a bicycle across the continent in order to convey a strong message.
One year later and with helping hands from all sides and countries, the first born thoughts have transformed themselves into a firm looking project.
Next to having been nominated for the European Charlegmane Youth Prize, gaining support from top-notch athletes and Olympic Champions, the spirit of Ride for your Rights! has touched great personalities one normally would not encounter in the daily grind.
Not long ago, I had the honour of meeting one of Austria's most inspiring persons alive. Three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize Ms Hildegard Goss-Mayr sat down with me and shared her thoughts on the importance of Human Rights teaching in Higher Education, on the necessity of nonviolent action among the youth and on the positive effects exchange programmes can have on society. If you want to catch a glimpse of the interview check out the following video.
But Hildegard Goss-Mayr was not the only inspirational person I came across lately. Stuart and Gregory from IFOR Austria were the ones making it possible for me to shoot the video and also left a deep impression on me. Generally speaking, it is not exactly normal that you meet such positive thinking guys who offer their help for free only because they believe in the underlying meaning of a project when they normally work with people such as Jane Goodall, Erin Gruwell or Adolfo Perez Esquivel. Have a look at their latest and most ambitious project FairSoul. One of my favorite videos is the one of social activists and musicians Topoke and Dominik Nostitzt who are also based in Vienna.
Topoke - Africa Moto from FairSoul-LIVE...ACT..BE on Vimeo.
What you should know is that you can meet Gregory and Stuart (maybe even Ms Hildegard Goss-Mayr) in Vienna on July 20, when we'll have our workshop on nonviolent action in cooperation with IFOR Austria. Btw, with its aim and constant endeavours for promoting peace and nonviolent action around the globe, IFOR played a vital role in the civil rights movement caused by Dr Martin Luther King back in the days.
My personal conclusion of all this: Positivism attracts positivism!
PS: A big thank you to everyone contributing to the realisation and success of Ride for your Rights!