Our dear oikos Alumni Benoit Pitsaer took on the challenge of completing the 2,500km long bicycle trip from Vienna to Istanbul in an effort to raise funds for oikos International programs! Ben enjoyed the support of his employer – NSI IT Software who agreed to match up to 2,500EUR of donations raised throught the effort.
Starting from 1 August, the trip took Benoit from Vienna, visiting cities like Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade, Constanta, Burgas and more before reaching the final destination on the Bosphorus strait. In Vienna, Belgrade and Istanbul, Ben met with the local oikos chapters as well as the oikos Alumni, making these stops good opportunities to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.
The first milestone to be reached was the 2,500EUR in funds raised on Monday, 22 August, as Benoit was less than 150km away from Istanbul, which he had reached a few days later, welcomed by the local oikos chapter and thus completing the journey. Just as he reached his destination, Ben wrote:
“I never thought I would be able to make it to this city, this border between Europe and Asia, given the timing. This journey required a lot of humility. To take a break when the body demands it. To stop when it is too hot. To get up early during heat waves. Even earlier to avoid the rains. And above all… to accept that the number of kilometres I am able to ride does not depend on me but on the quality of the road and the weather. Not easy to accept that.
In short, I didn’t know if I could do it. But I wanted to above all.
So what can I say? Thank you, thank you to everyone who supported me. Not only NSI IT Software & Services for stepping out of the box and supporting the organisation I was fundraising for: oikos International to bring more Responsibility and Sustainability into this world.
Thanks also to oikos International for keeping its mission alive and well since 1987. More than 30 years that have changed so many Curricula, that have trained so many Generations in Responsible Management. Many thousands of Students have passed through their programs internally and not only.
Thanks also to their community that I met along the way in Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Turkey.
I don’t quite realise I’ve arrived yet. But this is just the beginning. So here is a spontaneous and informal video on my arrival. What an achievement!”
Over the 2,500km travelled, Benoit passed through many countries. Across the Pannonian Plain through Austra, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia, down the Danube valley in Romania, despite a predominantly flat terrain, it was a difficult journey over the countryside roads – in the summer heat or heavy rain, he kept on going. Coming into Bulgaria, the terrain became even more challenging as the Balkan Mountains stood in his way to Turkey, but in the end Benoit made his way to Istanbul, where we hope he’s having a well deserved rest!
What does this mean?
Benoit’s fundraiser was created in support of our ongoing crowdfunding campaign – “Amplify impact for 1200+ students worldwide”. The funds raised will support oikos programs on leadership development and transforming education, helping us maintain them completely free for students, while providing learnings largely unaddressed by most universities’ curricula. Completing the fundraiser marks an important milestone in our fundraising efforts, but does not mean the end to the campaign. If you wish to support us you can still do so by donating here or helping spread the word!
We would like to thank Benoit for his amazing effort in supporting our organization and the programs we create as well as the awareness he’s brought to many with his trip. We also extend our gratitude to everyone who’d donated to the campaign so far.