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Cycling across Canada for SOS Children

Tana Silverland
Tana Silverland

British cyclist Tana Silverland recently completed a two and a half year bicycle journey across Canada, whilst promoting SOS Children’s work providing a family life for vulnerable children around the world. Her journey reached its conclusion in Ottawa, where she celebrated raising awareness and over £25,000 for the charity’s work.

Tana was born in the UK and before her remarkable expedition, she volunteered in SOS Children’s UK office in Cambridge. After deciding to move to Canada, Tana thought that it would be a perfect opportunity to take on a challenge with a difference to raise awareness and support for the charity. She said at the time: “The move seemed like the perfect time to do something special for a charity I feel passionately about, and as a result, I’m also getting to know my new home country really, really well!”

Despite not having any significant cycling experience, she decided to embark on a two-and-a-half year journey by bike across Canada. Riding a three-wheeled recumbent trike she nicknamed ‘Ranger’, Tana began the journey in the Yukon in 2010.

Contending with often difficult conditions, Tana peddled Ranger through tricky terrains, snowstorms, and awful weather. She was entirely dependent on the kindness of strangers for meals and a place to sleep. Visiting hundreds of small communities across Canada on her travels, Tana met with community groups, churches and social groups and gave talks about SOS Children's work. As well as raising awareness for the charity across Canada, she has also raised over £25,000 for the charity’s work.

Tana says that choosing to support SOS Children on her trip was simple: “Unlike many charities that work with orphans, SOS Children builds families and communities for the children in its care, providing not just a roof over their head, but stable and loving relationships and someone to call ‘Mum’. I’m doing what I can to make sure that all children in the world get the same positive start in life.”

Tana completed her 22,000 km journey on November 15, 2012 in front of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. She was greeted by Senator Mac Harb, her parents, supporters and staff of SOS Children in Canada.

CEO of SOS Children in Canada, Boyd McBride, says: “Tana’s ride has been incredible. She has connected thousands of Canadians with SOS Children and the children at risk whom SOS serves—in the process of getting ordinary citizens to look outside themselves to the needs of others abroad.”

Find out how you can take on a challenge of a lifetime and change the lives of vulnerable children and fragmenting families.