Cross-country expedition to help victims of child exploitation begins
Published Thursday, May 10, 2012 10:58AM MDT
A three month, cross-country expedition to raise money and awareness about child exploitation kicked off on Wednesday.
Members of the Angel Express Society began their 4,000 km expedition on horseback, which will take them from Edmonton to Halifax.
The two participants of the non-profit organization hope to raise $1 million to support young victims of sexual abuse.
The society's founder Alick Brooke is leading the expedition. Brooke is a retired chief information officer with Alberta Children's Services and has worked in some capacity with children for nearly three decades.
"I have seen some of these kids come through the system. I have talked to them and what they have to go through is just unimaginable to the average person," Brooke said.
The members will ride 45 kilometres a day, making stops in a number of cities including Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Montreal.
The society chose to ride horses for the expedition because of what the animal symbolizes.
"The horse is a symbol of strength, compassion, understanding and commitment and this is what these kids need," Brooke said.
It's also more unique than the usual awareness campaigns.
"You have your walks, your bicycle rides, your runners [but] you don't hear too many horseback expeditions.
Brooke hopes more people will join the trek as it makes its way across Canada.
"We need the grassroots Canadians to support us and that's what we are banking on," Brooke said.
The Angel Express Society began in 2010 and aims to raise awareness on the impact and costs of child exploitation while raising money to support survivors of child exploitation.
More information on the Angel Express Expedition can be found online.