Everybody loves a good race. It’s the thrill and excitement of the competition that gets people screaming for more. But what if there is a special race that is more than just winning? What if it’s a race that’s sole purpose is not to cross the finish line, but to make a difference in people’s lives. This race was established in 1997 as a humanitarian rally for students. The purpose of this charity event is for 1400 teams competing to drive across the Moroccan desert to provide children with school supplies and clothes.
Ynvolve is excited to have sponsored two energetic students that have shown compassion and enthusiasm for the adventure of helping others. Fahd Ba Idris is a 22-year-old multilingual student who speaks English, French, Arabic, and Berber. He is enrolled in Euridis business school in Paris, France. He is passionate about football and theater. Yanis Wahabi is a 26-year-old multilingual student who speaks English, French, Arabic, and Spanish. He is also currently enrolled in Euridis business school. He lives a very active life. He has been a jujitsu practitioner since he was two, and he has love and passion for theater arts as well.
On February 21, 2019 the two racers met in Biarritz, France for a technical inspection, an administrative check and some last-minute preparation. They were cleared to start the race the following day. They left Biarritz and traveled through Spain to arrive and camp in Algeciras under a clear sky. After another briefing in Spain they embarked on a boat in Gibraltar to arrive in Tangier and started racing across the Moroccan desert on the 25th.
Fahd and Yanis were among a few selected teams to spend two days with children in the Morocco desert. Since Fahd Ba Idris can speak Berber, he officiated as a translator for other students and officials. They took a break from the race to distribute clothes and school supplies (books, pencils, notebooks etc.) and to coordinate fun and engaging activities. Knowing the children’s love for football they supplied them with football equipment and organized a tournament. One of the highlights of the couple of days spent in the village was a shared meal with the community during which they absorbed the ambiance of the Moroccan culture.
The funds from last year’s event have been utilized to build new schools. This year, the funds are dedicated to improving the construction of the educational facilities. The charity Les Enfants du desert, a partner of the trophy race, has also contributed to providing over 90 bicycles to the students. The children were also supplied with helmets and vests. These bikes play a significant role in helping the children to thrive in the desert. Some of them are required to travel up to 30km between home and school, so a bike is precious as it brings convenience and safety.
After spending two days in the village, the racers resumed their journey to Marrakesh in order to complete the race. Having camped several chilly nights under starry skies (-10C at night) and dealing with blistering heat in the desert, the two racers were happy to get back to the comfort provided by a hot shower and a warm bed. Racing through the desert was a wonderful experience but it brought its share of challenges. Fahd Ba Idris: “I did not expect the heat to be so hard to deal with (…) spending several days without being able to shower, you do not feel that comfortable. The biggest challenge for me was camping in the desert. The temperature was a problem. It was very cold. The first night I could not sleep.” All participants attended a closing ceremony to mark the closing of this edition of the 4L Trophy rally followed by a celebratory party that included savoring local food and enjoying local entertainment.
One of the best ways to be thankful for the abundance in our lives is to give to others who are less privileged. Funding this race has given our sponsored students the opportunity to work together as a team, compete, and experience giving back to those in needs. “The most exciting part was meeting with people from the village, especially the children because we could see then the gap in terms of living. They have nothing, they have nothing to do. Their future is compromised due to the mobility issues. A good student even if he is good, he might stop his studies” shared Fahd Ba Idris. The funding of this project is meaningful and brought eye-opening experiences, and we at Ynvolve are glad to have sponsored two young men in an exciting and charitable adventure.