Hong Kong resident Mark Western will complete a 250km solo-kayak around Hong Kong in June to raise funds for The Fred Hollows Foundation.
The project “Kayak 150
”, is named to raise awareness that sight can be restored for as little as HK$150 in some countries.
Mark, who is originally from Canada, will circumnavigate Hong Kong and pass through major natural scenic spots including Wong Mau Chau, Ninepin Islands and Chek Lap Kok in seven days.
He has a strong community focus and is an experienced kayak and sailing veteran who paddled around Taiwan in 2004 to fundraise for an environmental organisation.
“The idea to paddle around Hong Kong has been in my mind for 4-5 years. It will be challenging. It seems like a wasted opportunity if it does not come with a meaningful cause. That’s why I will do it for The Fred Hollows Foundation which has an amazing mission.”
Four out of five people who are blind don’t need to be. Through supporting the needed surgery and treatments, training medical staff and providing medical facilities, The Foundations is working to end avoidable blindness worldwide.
Mark has lived in Hong Kong for more than a decade and heads an international kindergarten.
His passion for the ocean and kayaking was sparked at a young age. When Mark was 13, his family spent a year sailing from Toronto, down the east coast of the U.S., and across to the Bahamas on a boat his father built. He was a member of the University of Toronto rowing team and, ever since, has been kayaking in different places.
Head of The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Hong Kong office Dr Anson Wong praised Mark's efforts.
“More than 32 million people worldwide are still suffering from avoidable blindness simply because they do not have the basic access to medical services or equipment. As a result, some are deprived of education and economic opportunities. It is important for more people to be aware of the need and end avoidable blindness together with us. Thanks to Mark's efforts we will be able to help more people see,” Dr Wong said.
Facebook of The Fred Hollows Foundation Hong Kong