A CORK man has raised almost €18,000 for charity thanks to his bid to spend nine days biking, hiking and horse riding in Mongolia.
Forty-eight-year-old Gerard O'Donovan, who is Head of Faculty of Business and Humanities at CIT, is undertaking the strenuous adventure to raise funds for the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation.
The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation was set up by Irish woman Christina Noble to fight for the rights of children and offers medical care and educational opportunities, among other things, to poor children living in Vietnam and Mongolia.
Mr O’Donovan was inspired to help after watching the movie Noble, which documents the life and work of Christina Noble in Vietnam and Mongolia.
Gerard said he bumped into Christina three weeks after watching the movie and challenged him to get involved in the cause.
The academic signed up for a gruelling trek of two days mountain biking, two days hiking and two days horse riding across Mongolia.
As well as being inspired by Christina’s cause, Gerard said before his mother died in December she had encouraged him to take part in the challenge, telling him to go for it.
“I am looking forward to it, I am a bit nervous about what is involved, but hopefully it will all be fine.”
Gerard, who is paying for his trip himself, in order for all the money he raises to go straight to the charity, said he will also be bringing a few gifts for the children of the centre that he will be visiting.
“I will have pens and colouring books for the children.”
“We had a coffee morning back in July in CIT and it went very well. We raised over €2,000.”
The lecturer said he was a bit hesitant to hound his students for money but said that a number of past students have given very generously to the cause.
“The trip consists of two days of biking 70km a day, two days of hiking 25km a day and two days of horse riding 30km a day.”