A year ago, 24Sliders all around the world got (virtually) together for an intense challenge: walk, run or cycle over 60km in one week. The result? Over 70 people joined, and together we hiked the equivalent of 46.5 American football fields. Most importantly, it meant collecting funds for 112 emergency food packages for the girls at Chicuchas Wasi, Cuzco, and their families, who had suffered the effects of the long-term pandemic.
It was a magical experience that allowed us not only to give back to the community but to think of ourselves again as a team after the long months of lockdown.
After it, only one question remained: How can we make this even better?
Enter the 2022 Global Challenge!
One of the things that 24Slides strives to do is to be socially responsible and give back to the communities. This can be quite hard to do when so many people around you need support.
We had two main options on sight. On the one hand, our development team in Ukraine, along with the rest of the country, is still suffering the effects of a long-lasting war. On the other, we had a low-resource orphanage in Lima that had been previously supported by our local team.
In Ukraine, over 5 million refugees have left their homes for neighboring countries, and over 7 million have been displaced inside the country, looking for safer living conditions. Millions of people have lost their homes, and thousands of families have been separated.
Kharkiv has been one most significant hotspots of war and has suffered heavy bombing in the last months. While Kharkiv is now free from occupation, things are still far from normal. Basic necessities like food and medicine are not easily covered, and even worse, there’s no fuel for transporting existing goods.
Our target was Kharkiv Help, an association of volunteers focused on getting fuel, food, medicine, and evacuation help for those in need. A few of our Ukrainian team members still in the country have worked previously with them and are first-hand witnesses of how a little help can go a long way when talking about support in Kharkiv.
On the other hand, we also wanted to support the orphanage Nuevo Futuro in Lima, Peru. Many children are abandoned as families don’t have the resources to provide for them. Nuevo Futuro was founded in 1995 to offer a home to children and babies that do not have a family environment.
Our team in Peru visited the orphanage as volunteers in December 2019. There, they donated food, toys, and gifts for the children. Again in December 2021, our local team supported Nuevo Futuro, this time with funds collected from a local match-giving campaign. Again they were witnesses to the many difficulties this kind of ONGs go through to sustain the children.
Both were incredibly important causes to support and were both very close to our hearts, and we were finding it difficult to pick between them.
So we thought to ourselves, why not both? 24Slides decided to donate $20 for each person pledging to the challenge. This allowed us to support Peru and Ukraine simultaneously by dividing the donations in half.
Global challenge 2.0
Just like last year, 24Slides announced a general call for the brand new 2022 Global Challenge. And, just like last year, our colleagues did not disappoint!
Beginning on Thursday 8th of September, all 24Sliders registered had 1 week to complete the Global Challenge. Participants could walk or run 60km, cycle 120km, or do 6 hours of workout, like yoga, dance classes, gym, etc.
The objective was not to make a competition out of it. Instead, we aimed to bring the global team together by giving them a goal to strive for and promoting exercise and a healthy lifestyle throughout our company.
That’s why participants were free to mix activities and report on them as they saw fit. The idea was to keep moving and share encouragement to tackle the challenge, thus creating a better sense of unity and being part of something bigger than ourselves.
Now, with the 2022 Global Challenge finished, we can confidently say that it was a complete success, with a participation rate of 71%.
This means 175 participants walking, running, cycling, and exercising together to make a positive impact in the world. 24Sliders stepped up to the challenge and gave their very best despite the physical demand it entailed.
Putting together all our efforts, it meant
– 4,846 km by walking/running
– 9,992 km by bicycling
– 608 hours of workout
It was an extraordinary experience to go through, not only because of the challenge in itself but also the sense of community and companionship it created. As one of our colleagues shared, “It was empowering to see so many colleagues from all over the world participating in the challenge. It feels like I’m part of a bigger movement.”
We shared our daily achievements on Strava and encouraged and congratulated each other through our Whatsapp group. It helped us uplift each other and realize that we’re stronger than we could have imagined. “This challenge is exciting and pushes me to work out even harder. I usually just lay in a bed“.
Aside from how much exercise each of us did in our daily lives, the 2022 Global Challenge was the perfect occasion to step up and try to do better every day.
And, of course, we fulfilled our objective to collect funds to support both charities in Peru and Ukraine. By the end, we collected a grand total of $3,500 that will go entirely to those in need. With our donation, Nuevo Futuro will be able to feed 12 orphans for one month. In the case of Kharkiv Help, it will help get fuel to get civilians to safe zones and distribute medicine.
24Slides’ goal is to create a better world. Through activities such as the 2022 Global Challenge, we aspire to make a positive impact and to help maximize the change we can all create together. We want to support the Sustainable Development Goals by developing activities that take us one step closer to less poverty and inequality in the world.
And if we can do this by encouraging good health and a better lifestyle for our colleagues, then all the better!
In the end, one of the most promising things to take out of the experience was the overall response of the participants. Despite the difficulty of the challenge, we’re proud to say that over 95% said they would be willing to join a new Global Challenge in the future.
We’re looking forward to what new challenges we’ll tackle next!