Mr J goes cycling

Do you remember this handsome chap?

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That’s right – it’s Mr J from Interview with a Teenager posts! I can reveal to you today, having received his permission, that M J’s real name is Jonathan Edwards.

I’ve broken my ‘code of anonymity’ because Jonathan has asked me to help promote the charity fundraising event he will attempt in just a few days time. Having just come back from the UK, I don’t envy this young man’s undertaking.

Jonathan and Chris

Jonathan and Chris

On either the 1st, 2nd or 3rd of April, Jonathan – plus two other friends called Chris and Ed – will cycle 200 miles from London to Cardiff in under 27 hours. They are doing this to raise money and awareness for Anti Slavery International. I asked him why he decided on this charity:

“We were inspired to do it after we heard the shocking statistics that the slave industry is still going stronger than ever and that it earns more than Nike, Google, and Amazon put together.”

This is true and close to my heart. It is reckoned by many charities that there are more slaves in the world today than in this history of mankind put together. Yet, not a single Government of any country in the world condones slavery, wants slavery or even produces a useful income from slavery that might encourage it to ‘turn a blind eye’.

Slavery can be abolished in our lifetime,” Jonathan believes, “but the main thing that the slave industry uses to flourish is anonymity. Charities like Anti Slavery International push for stricter laws and raise awareness about the slave problem, they also push to get people released from slavery.

Again, I have a vest interest in this as many slaves come from Bangladesh. Girls are known to be kidnapped and trafficked into India as sex slaves and many in the garment industry (Bangladesh is one of the main producers of the cheap clothes you buy in the West) are made to work under something known as ‘debt slavery’ where families are conned into taking loans they can never afford to repay and their daughters are taken to work until the loan is finally repaid. It never will be, of course.

Jonathan and his friends decided to do a bike ride after hearing about a team of women that rowed the Atlantic Ocean for the charity. They were struck by how much effort the women put into the charity event so decided to do something themselves. They decided to do the ride in 27 hours to represent the 27 million slaves estimated to be working in the world today.

The ride will be on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd of April depending on which of the days has the best weather. Now I’ve just come back from the UK and I can tell you the weather is quite horrible right now. As I left the country there were people taking photos of the BBC weather report to ‘instagram’ the fact that most of the British Isles had turned white. Conditions have been, at times, quite impossible in recent days so the boys need this year’s ‘unseasonable’ weather to change.

Frankly, it would be quite nice if Spring would actually get around to starting, Jonathan thinks!

Can I ask you to take a minute to look at his official charity website? The link is here:

http://www.justgiving.com/Jonathan-Edwards8

Jonathan and his trusty steed

Jonathan and his trusty steed

Please consider donating even a very small amount for this worthwhile cause. is my link to the charity where you can donate to the cause. Even if you read this after the ride you can still donate and all donations are welcome. Even something as little as sharing this on your facebook page or reblogging the post will help raise awareness.

I wonder if Jonathan felt compelled to do this after his brother’s successful swim for charity which I told you about last year? Either way, his family continues to amaze me with just how much they pour out their hearts for those in need around the world and then actually do something about it. If nothing else, I hope this post challenges you to contribute too.

About D K Powell

British freelance journalist, author, writer, editor, musician, educational consultant. I lived with Wifey, Thing I (daughter) & Thing II (son) in Bangladesh for 5-6 years working for an NGO called LAMB. Wifey led the Hospital Rehab department and I used to teach O levels at the school before going full-time as a freelance writer in 2013. Now we're back in the UK learning how to be British again. When not writing or editing, I'm busy trying to complete a Masters degree in Intercultural relations in Asian Contexts and reading way too many books at once. I also drink tea - lots of it.
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4 Responses to Mr J goes cycling

  1. Stacy Saha says:

    Great post, Ken- and well done Joff and friends! This is a huge problem, as you have noted. Congratulation, guys for getting out of your comfort zone and doing something about it!

    Like

  2. Ruby Tuesday says:

    What an incredible young man (young men, I suppose). It takes a great deal of courage and a different kind of heart entirely to say, ‘I won’t turn a blind eye, I want to make a difference and show people what’s going on.’ All the best in the world to Jonathan and his friends,

    Like

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