Youngsters complete 450 mile bike challenge for Somalia famine fundraiser

PUBLISHED: 18:09 04 October 2011

Charlie Simpson, nine with Ridwan Ibrahim, eight

Charlie Simpson, nine with Ridwan Ibrahim, eight


A young boy with a track record of raising giant sums for charity joined a group of East End youngsters to kick off their Somali famine campaign.

Nine-year-old Charlie Simpson made headlines around the world last year after his Haiti earthquake bike ride challenge raised £260,000 for UNICEF.

Last week he headed to Tower Hamlets to give children from six primary schools training advice for their 900-lap feat in Stepney Gardens.

At 450 miles, the children cycled the equivalent distance from Mogadishu to Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, which is the walk Somali families fleeing the crisis face.

Many of the children who took part in the bike ride have family and friends still living in Somalia, affected what the UN is saying is the worst humanitarian crisis in 20 years.

The children even got the backing of a world athletics champion.

Gold medal-winning runner, Mo Farah, who was born in Somalia, said he was “hugely impressed” with their achievement.

He added: “It was a tough challenge for little legs but they did it to raise money for UNICEF to help children on the other side of the world.”

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