Putting passion into action, 30 PWS&D supporters hit the streets of London, Toronto, Brampton and Hamilton in the Ride for Refuge on Saturday, September 29.

The Ride for Refuge is a nation-wide cycling and walking fundraiser that helps charities raise money for the displaced, vulnerable and persecuted.

For the third year in a row, PWS&D participated to raise funds and awareness for the maternal, newborn and child health program in Afghanistan and Malawi. Five teams of dedicated cyclists, walkers and their sponsors contributed over $9,000 to the project through the event.

Thomas and mom, Victoria, take a photo break during their 25 km ride. Photo: Victoria Banfield

With additional support from the Government of Canada, these funds will be matched at a rate of 4:1, for a total value of $45,000. This means that funds raised will go even further to help pregnant women, mothers and their newborns get the care they need to survive childbirth and stay healthy.

This is ten-year-old Thomas’s third time cycling 25 km in the Ride for Refuge for PWS&D. Thomas, his mom Victoria and members of their congregation at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Markham formed Team Lightning Bolt—and collectively raised over $2,300 for PWS&D.

“We believe that everyone deserves a healthy start in life,” reflects Victoria. “We are so fortunate to have health care here in Toronto and much of Canada that we take for granted. We want to be able to provide that for others.”

The Rev. Peter Ma, The Rev. Daniel Cho and Guy Smagghe before the start of the 25 km ride.

The Rev. Daniel Cho, minister at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Toronto and Moderator of the 144th General Assembly, also cycled 25 km with Team PWS&D at the Ride for Refuge in Toronto. This is Daniel’s second time participating with PWS&D, but this year’s event felt even closer to his heart.

“I just returned from Malawi and saw up close how our support is doing no less than saving the lives of newborns and mothers, and improving their well-being in leaps and bounds,” he shares. “Remembering the people that I met, and all the faces imprinted in my heart, made the Ride that much more meaningful and moving for me.”

To those who joined PWS&D in the Ride for Refuge—by walking, cycling or through generous financial contributions—thank you for your support!

By improving access to maternal and newborn care, we are helping shape more prosperous communities, and a more sustainable, compassionate and just world.

Team Moving for Malawi at the Ride for Refuge in London, ON.

Click here to view more photos from the event!

*PWS&D’s maternal and child health program receives generous funding from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.

Banner photo: A group shot of Team Lightning Bolt and Team PWS&D at the Ride for Refuge in Toronto.