The team from Mariupol travel around Europe not for the sake of entertainment. They attract attention to street kids in such a way. The initiative of the bike action “The world without orphans” was establishes. So in 2011 before the beginning of the Russian aggression they travelled along Russia. But after the war actions the bike tour was interrupted for two years. It is back again now. Within this stage of the bike tour the team could overcome distance of 5000 km and they visited 10 countries of Europe. Valerii is not an orphan, he has his own family but he decided to take part in the bike action: “When I heard about this idea of “The world without orphans”, about the bike tour, being a person who loved traveling from an early childhood asked them to take me with them and here I am. After riding 5000 km along Europe I am so happy”.
It is impossible to overcome such distance without any difficulties. Valerii said that they came across physical and psychological challenges: “There were many hard moments. We rode about 100 km daily. So first issue is physical and second – psychological, because you always ride your bike. You need to fight with the fact that you spend so much time riding a bike. Of course it is a serious difficulty for your physics. Of course it is not easy to be a part of the team.
Regardless of the difficulty of the trip 8-year old Semion and 10 year old Daniel also took part. Unfortunately, their bikes were very old and heavy because new professional bikes cost too expensive. But it didn’t stop them, they tried their best not to be in the tail and could overcome 60 km a day. Semion and Daniel also learnt the phrase “The world without orphans” in several European languages.
According to Gennadiy Mokhnenko, due to such initiatives they attract attention of people to the problem of orphanhood and help them to overcome fear before adoption. During their trip very often people would come up to them and thank them for helping them to decide to adopt a child from an orphanage: “We were holding on our laps kids in Germany who were adopted by people who heard us and stopped being afraid of the word “ Orphan”. Thus the fruit of this action is over one hundred happy stories, including handicapped kids, children in wheelchairs, HIV + kids. Because some kids with HIV+ status were with us in the trip and they openly told their testimonies saying that such kids need families too. They told about how they were adopted. People stop being scared and it destroys their stereotypes and prejudices. People start adopting kids and t is our reward”.
Gennadiy Mokhnenko and his team is invited to many countries of the worl including China. But for now they plan to finish their route around the world. The Pastor says: “Next year we plan to visit 10 more countries of Europe and then we will cross to the American continent. It will be the finish of the worldwide action”.