Matlock man pledges to help refugees

Andy Kawalek. Picture submitted.
Andy Kawalek. Picture submitted.

A generous Matlock man is gearing up to get on his bike to aid desperate Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Andy Kawalek will travel to Jordan at the end of May and embark on a 75-mile mountain bike charity challenge.

A Syrian child tries to protect herself from the cold weather at the Bab al-Salam border gate with Turkey in Syria.

A Syrian child tries to protect herself from the cold weather at the Bab al-Salam border gate with Turkey in Syria.

He is planning to cycle among some of the Syrian refugee camps near Mount Nebo in order to raise awareness of the plight of refugees who have been driven out of their homes and country as a result of conflict.

He will also be raising money for Open Doors – a vital charity which provides practical support like food, water, medicine, housing and education to refugees – and is now urging the public to sponsor him.

Andy, 61, of Dale Road, said: “Families who have been forced to run from their homes are now trapped in Jordan and Lebanon.

“They cannot return home and they struggle to find work.

“They cannot provide food for their children.

“These poor families are desperate to return but can only wait until it becomes safe enough.

“The towns, villages and churches in Jordan are overwhelmed by the needs of refugees of all faiths coming to live under their shelter and care.

“The priority is to support physical and trauma relief for desperate Syrian and Iraqi families who have lost their homes.

“Now, hundreds of thousands of families depend on Open Doors for food every month.

“These emergency supplies have become a symbol of hope.

“When I am in Jordan I will also be meeting some of the refugees – people who have suffered persecution and who are benefitting from the work of Open Doors.

“I would like to raise as much as possible before I take on this challenge – so please help me raise funds for these refugees.

“Whatever you kindly donate, 100 per cent of it will go to Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

“I will pay all travel costs myself,” added Andy, who works as an educational psychologist.

To sponsor Andy, visit www.justgiving.com/AndyK4SyrianRefugees