Mekong Plus, Belgium’s community development organisation, has launched a 10,000km cycling programme to raise fund for poor people in Vietnam.

Going through five countries in three continents with 16 stages, the Brussels-Saigon journey will start in April and run until November, 2014.

At the launching ceremony in Brussels on November 19, representatives from Mekong Plus said all bicycles used during the journey are bamboo-framed ones produced in Vietnam.

The ride is to call for donations for the implementation of Mekong Plus’s charity projects in Vietnam and Cambodia, said Thibaut Claire, who is in charge of Mekong Plus in Belgium. It is expected to collect about 20,000 EUR (about 27,000 USD) in each stage, she added.

Established in 1994, Mekong Plus is working to carry out community development projects. It has set up two non-governmental organisations in Vietnam.

Mekong Plus’s projects are mainly in the fields such as credit, agriculture, environment protection, job generation and health education. Each year, about 170,000 Vietnamese people are benefited directly from the projects. Most of them are primary and preschool pupils and those who get involved in agriculture and handicraft production.

The oganisation every year held similar charity activities, including the Saigon-Angkor Wat ride in 2012 and the annual run in Brussels.-VNA