From September 2 to 12 the Multivan-Merida Biking Team and the Merida Bike Company are auctioning a special, one-off gold-trimmed version of their team bike to raise funds for the "Village of friendship" project in Vietnam.
The Village of Friendship was founded by US Vietnam veteran George Mizo whose belief that "we can make a difference" led him in 1986 to establish a project dedicated to reconciliation between the US and Vietnam. In 1993 the village was begun with a ground-breaking ceremony an former rice field 11 kilometres south of Hanoi and five years later the first inhabitants moved in.
The village is now home to around 130 handicapped children, orphans and elderly people who receive medical care and education. Funds raised by the auction will help to furnish and equip the expansion of the medical centre, which is also open to non-residents of the village. The Vietnamese government is covering the cost of the building.
For more information see www.friendship-bike.org.