Yvette Crouch participated in the school cycle challenge in 2016. Now a high school graduate, Yvette has started an internship at Project Futures and is jumping back on the bike to undertake this amazing journey once again in April. Here is her story…
‘I embarked on my first PROJECT FUTURES Cambodia Cycle in 2016 as a fifteen year old high school student, eager to partake in what I hoped would be an eye opening, life changing experience. Completing the aptly named cycle ‘challenge’ truly was a formidable feat in the way that myself and my fellow participants were not only physically challenged by the strenuous achievement of cycling 400km through a foreign country, but also challenged emotionally by the privilege of interacting with survivors of human trafficking at the AFESIP centre. It was here that we heard first hand the stories of girls, some my own age and younger, who had suffered through traumas I could hardly fathom, ultimately becoming the most memorable, life affirming aspect of the already amazing trip.
Accompanying me on my journey was my older brother James, who similarly to me, lacked cycling athleticism and experience, but was keen to dive head first into the challenge. One of the greatest takeaways from the cycle was that by the end of it all, my brother and I, along with all of our fellow PROJECT FUTURES cyclists had formed an unbreakable bond, as we were each other’s support network during both the physical and emotional trials of our trip. These meaningful relationships that developed over such a short period of time made the experience even more rewarding, as at its conclusion, we were able to celebrate the massive accomplishment we had made through the combined challenges of fundraising, cycling, and raising awareness for such an awesome cause.
For me, talking to the women at the AFESIP centre and seeing true evidence of the positive impact PROJECT FUTURES has made on the lives of trafficking survivors is something which has stuck with me ever since my first cycle, and has impassioned me to partake in my second cycle challenge, 3 years later. Now that I am older, and slightly wiser, I am extremely excited to re-immerse myself in such an incredible experience, with the opportunity to hear the stories of more brave trafficking survivors, forge new relationships with fellow participants, and to re-embark on what was the most challenging and rewarding journey of my life.
I am so grateful for PROJECT FUTURES giving me the opportunity to partake in such a unique and worthwhile experience for a second time, and cannot wait to start the adventure all over again.’
For information on Cambodia Cycle Challenges, click HERE.