This summer a group of five friends will travel, by car, from Dublin to Mongolia in aid of the Make A Wish foundation. This group includes two UCD students, Jack Perdue, an English & Film student and Ben Chadwick, a Commerce student along with Jonathan Lewis, Jordan Sutton and Shane O’Rourke.

This charity rally is held every year and began as a way of bringing ambulances to Mongolia. As it is a landlocked country, driving was deemed the most viable way to deliver a service desperately needed. Following the success of the rally, GoHelp decided to allow any vehicle which fulfils the criteria to be accepted into the rally.

The Irish group taking part in the rally this year is made up of friends who met originally in secondary school. They decided to do something for the Make A Wish foundation following one of the group’s family members being touched by the charity. “Jordan’s cousin Robyn was diagnosed with Rett syndrome when she was just a year old. It’s a degenerative disorder for which there is no cure. Recently the Make a Wish foundation sent Robyn and her family, as well as other children to Florida to visit theme parks and swim with dolphins, giving them the holiday of a lifetime, and we thought that it’d be a good idea to give something back.”

They decided to choose the drive to Mongolia as their way of giving back after one of the groups heard about the Mongolia charity rally organised by GoHelp. “We thought this particular rally was good because not only do we raise money but the car we drive over also gets donated to a charity to be used to improve accessibility to health and education services in Mongolia.”

Although the journey can take as little as 10 days the group have decided to take their time doing it and aim to make it to Mongolia in about a month and a half. “We reckon you’ll only drive to Mongolia once, so we may as well take our time and really experience the adventure.”

On their route they will be travelling through 20 countries, 3 deserts and 2 seas, a journey of 10,000 Kilometres. Their route is Ireland, Wales, England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China, and finally Mongolia.

“There are various routes that one could choose, and you could follow in the footsteps of a previous team, but ultimately the route is of our own design. We chose it because it visits many different countries and will allow us to catch a glimpse of many different cultures.”

The group will make this journey in a mini-van they have names ‘the 46a to Mongolia’. The mini-van, which under Go Helps criteria had to be under 10 years old and be useful to the people of Mongolia upon the group’s arrival at their final destination, will be painted like a Dublin Bus to go with the theme of the groups cause.

Although relying on a combination of donations and fundraising events to achieve their goal, the groups have come up with interested ways to fundraise which also reflect the theme of their journey. “We have created donor packages in the form of “bus tickets”, with different prices that give different things ranging from 20 euro to 200 euro. For example, the “Over 65s Ticket” costs 20 euro, and in return the donor will receive a personalised postcard from the 46ateam from a country of their choice, while our top of the range ticket, the 200 euro “leap card” will give the donor a personalised postcard, a signed photograph and team T-shirt, a video message on social media thanking them for their support, and a unique gift from our travels that we’ll make as interesting as possible.”

The group have a range of social media page by which you can follow their journey, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The group plans to keep these updated with their progress throughout their journey to Mongolia.

You can find the group on all their social media pages under the name ‘46a to Mongolia’.