Each minute, nearly 150 acres of rainforest are destroyed, releasing nearly 40,000 tonnes of CO2 into the environment – the equivalent of 4,800 laps around the planet. The Cool Earth Foundation, the official charity of the 2014 Mongol Rally, is committed to halting the destruction of these ecosystems. In five years alone, Cool Earth has saved over 330,000 acres of forest, and has shielded millions more from destruction.
To put things into perspective, it costs just £60 to protect an acre of rainforest. By donating to Crossing the Rubikhans, you are contributing directly to Cool Earth’s efforts to make the planet a healthier place – and that’s something you should feel good about.
SOS Children’s Villages is the official team charity of Crossing the Rubikhan. This international non-profit provides family-based care to children who have been abandoned, orphaned, or displaced by conflict. By placing children into the nurturing care of foster families, SOS ensures that these children receive the individualized support that they require in order to thrive.
The foster families are clustered into small villages, and we have been invited to visit several of these communities along our journey. We will gladly pass on any gifts or messages you might have for the children, and together, we can ensure that they receive the support that they deserve.
*Addendum: sadly, Keshav can no longer participate in the Mongol Rally, due to an incredible job opportunity in India with the MIT Poverty Action Lab. You can read our eulogy for Shav right here. We’ll miss ya bud, but we know you’re off to do big things!
As the team's unofficial fitness guru, Nicholas “Nick Lachey” Allen’s skills include pushing, pulling, and lifting heavy objects, including, we hope, small vehicles and Keshav. However, we are still unsure if Nick’s natural aptitude with BMI-measuring calipers will translate to real tools. A recent ethnomusicology course has Nick questioning whether he truly belongs in this image-obsessed American society, or whether he should swap real estate and the elliptical for pastoralism and buzkashi, a Central Asian variant of polo played with a headless goat carcass instead of a ball. Or maybe he'll just corner the local creatine market. It would be uncharacteristic for Nick to pass up such a lucrative scheme.
Benjie “Benjie” Jenkins grew up on Baltimore’s only Nairobi-themed game reserve. An ardent Francophile, Benjie’s Napoleon complex is manifested in a desire to expose the people of Central Asia to the wonders of merlot and existentialism. He's exceptionally eager to give readings of “Le Mythe de Sisyphe” – in the original French, of course – to the kids at the SOS Children's Village in Urgench. However, don’t let Benjie's blonde locks and big words fool you: he's fit to bribe and grovel with the best of them. He also knows a thing or two about vehicle repairs, with extensive mechanical knowledge gained solely from a well-thumbed copy of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”
Cooper “Gall-Peters Projection” Thomas grew up in Portland, Oregon, where his neighbors were an independent bookstore owner, a professional drum circler, a patchouli patch, and an urban goat farm. Ever the softie, Cooper finds himself most at peace when he's pursuing his passions for obscure indigenous music and arboreal photography. The rally will give Cooper a chance to accomplish his greatest life goal: a pilgrimage to Kyzyl, the legendary Southern Siberian enclave of the Tuvan throat singers. Our greatest fear is that Cooper, overcome by the unprecedented kinship and mutual understanding he finds with Tuvan tribal leaders, will abandon any desire to return home.
Keshav (Teammate Emeritus)
Keshav “Machiavelli” Poddar is a man whose stature is dwarfed by his ambition and his fashion sense. In his native village he has become something of a pariah for embracing the consumption of meat, just one of the ways he exploits other creatures in a constant quest for domination. Yet, Keshav's quick wit, analytical mind, and superior understanding of society mean that putting him in power will probably benefit all of us in the end, much as we hate to admit it. During the rally, Shav would have served the double role of hunter and hood ornament, wielding a crossbow from his precarious perch on the front of the car, watching for passing rabbits and yaks to eat for dinner.
To this end, we’re currently allocating 100% of donations to the general team fund, which includes our charitable target of $3,000. Once we reach 100% of our total donation target, we will divert all donations to the charities. When we’ve completed our fundraising in 2014, we’ll let you know how we did. If you donate $250 or more, and would like a receipt for the portion of your donation that is tax-deductible, just let us know and we’ll get you all squared away.
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Without the support of these awesome sponsors and individuals, we would not be able to participate in the Mongol Rally. Here’s to you!
Not only is Goal Zero committed to bringing sustainable technologies to the market, but the company also contributes generously to humanitarian causes. Goal Zero supported relief efforts for the Tohoku earthquake/tsunami in 2011, for Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and for Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Founder Robert Workman also happens to run a non-profit organization in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We are proud to fly the colors of such a compassionate and conscientious company. And in keeping with the charitable mission of the rally, we intend to donate all of our Goal Zero equipment to charity once we reach the finish line.
You can learn more about the company and its products by visiting the Goal Zero website.
The folks at Roadpost have also been tremendously helpful, and patient, throughout the setup and configuration processes. (Special shoutout to Lu, who tolerated our bad jokes while we rummaged around for some necessary documentation.) Thanks to Roadpost’s generous support, we’ll be able to keep you up to speed on our progress, no matter how far off the beaten tracks our
misguided sense of direction route may lead us.
·Mike Malachowsky: this talented visual artist designed our team logo. He draws lots of other cool stuff too. Much love homie!
·Samantha Oh: Sam took our team photos. A fearless photographer, Sam prefers to shoot lions, great white sharks, and other ferocious creatures. So, we’re incredibly grateful that she was willing to photograph such docile creatures as ourselves.
·Our families: your support really means the world to us. We’ll do our very best to send you updates from the road, and to return to the States with all of our organs in place.
·Donors: thank you, thank you, thank you! Words truly cannot express our gratitude.
Get in touch with us. We'd love to hear from you!