Story

All of us do something crazy some points in our lives.

But if it gives meaning to our living and benefits the community, then it is well worth the attempt.Tembusu GlobeTrekkers

It is with this shared ideal that 8 individuals (consisting of professor, graduate, and undergraduates) from Tembusu College, came together and formed the Tembusu Globe Trekkers. We believe that, while in pursuit of academic and research excellence, and also the peace of mind, we have the capacity to challenge ourselves and enrich our lives, hence making it even more worthwhile. We also hope to be the self-anointed flag bearers of our college, and the inclusive and diverse education system which Tembusu College espouses.

Thus we joined the 4 Deserts Gobi March race, and attempt to complete (we will!) the 250km, self supported trek, done over 6 days in extreme desert conditions, in June 2013. The competition, one of the leading (and toughest) adventure races in the world, will take us way beyond our comfort zones, accomplishing an endeavor no man finds easy.

And we have also adopted the Straits Times Schools Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) as our sole beneficiary, for we believe that we can do more on this trek than merely finishing it. Targets have been established on amounts we aim to raise for the students from families in need. We are also collaborating with STSPMF in initiatives such as the mentoring of students from family service centres, and hope to be the students’ role models and inspiration.

The Globe Trekkers hope that our efforts in Gobi 2013 will be the spark that inspire fellow youths to action, and benefit even more students, as well as the community at large.

Cause

The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund started in 2000 as a community project initiated by The Straits Times that provides pocket money to children from low-income families to help them through school. The children can use this money for school-related expenses, such as buying a meal during recess, paying for their bus fares or using it to meet their other schooling needs. The financial help also eases the burden of the many parents, who are already struggling to feed their families on their meagre incomes.

In its first 10 years, it raised more than $44million and helped more than 85,000 cases.

As it grew in size and helped more beneficiaries, it realised it had potential to do more beyond just giving pocket money.

It was officially established as a Trust on Oct 20, 2010 with a Board of Trustees and was granted charity status on Nov 14, 2011 with Institution of A Public Character (IPC) status effective from Jan 1, 2012.

Since its inception as a community project to its transition to a full-fledged charity, The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund has been working closely with its strategic partner, the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), which disburses the pocket money to beneficiaries through its network of family service centres, special schools and children's homes. As at Jan 2012 38 family service centres, two agencies providing single parent family services, 18 special schools/ disability VWOs, six children's homes and the Assumption Pathway School are commissioned as disbursing agencies.

Visit www.stschoolpocketmoneyfund.org.sg for more information


Race

30 May thru 9 June, Xinjiang Province, China

Distance

The Gobi March is a 250km footrace that takes place over 6 stages in 7 days. Named by TIME magazine as the #1 footrace in the world, and as one of the world's top 10 endurance events, participants cover approximately the distance of one marathon per day, except for the much-anticipated Stage 5 of about two marathon lengths, double the length of the previous four stages.

Format

Participants must carry their own personal gear, food and clothing in a backpack weighing on average 9kg without water. The only assistance provided to them is water for drinking and making food, tents to sleep in at night, and medical and management support.

Checkpoints are set along the course at approximately 10km apart. Participants can rest for a short period of time, take advantage of shade and seek advice and treatment, if appropriate, from a medical doctor.

Location

The Gobi March 2013 will take place in Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture and Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in northwest Xinjiang Province, approximately 5,300km away from Singapore. Along the 250km course, the terrain will include grasslands, farmlands, dirt tracks, riverbeds, rolling hills, mountain valleys, plains and plateaus. The Gobi Desert is the largest desert region in Asia and the fifth largest in the world. It is also the windiest non-polar desert in the world. The area annually experiences temperatures of up to 40°C in the summer whilst receiving only 1 inch of rainfall annually. The area selected for the Gobi March 2013 has been closely guarded by the Chinese government due to its border position and distance from Beijing and as a result there have been very few outsiders freely exploring the area.

Visit www.4deserts.com/gobimarch for more information


Team

The Tembusu GlobeTrekkers team consists of 8 dynamic individuals comprising of a resident fellow, two graduate fellows and 5 undergraduate students from Tembusu College. The average age of the team is 24, which is more than a decade apart from the average age of competitors of the Gobi March at 38 years. The youngest of the team are the 2 ladies at ages 20.

Dr. Kelvin Pang

Our much loved Director of Student Affairs at Tembusu College is a personality every student in the college knows. Kelvin’s so into his job that it's not unlikely to spot him hanging around College in late evenings and on Saturdays.

Nianjia Seow

Graduate fellow of Ponya House, Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering and the man who coined the name and idea of the Tembusu GlobeTrekkers for the Gobi March. Nianjia simple guy who loves trail running and Teh; his kryptonite is beansprouts.

Frank Liauw

Graduate fellow of Shan House, Masters candidate in Computer Science. Frank is the college "go-to" guy for all things IT-related, where he always offers his service with a BIG smile. He suffers from an "obsessive compulsive disorder" of having to turn under-utilized electronic equipment into objects of fascinating wonders. If you ever get lost or need help dividing food into equal portions, you can definitely count on Frank, for maps and algorithms are his forte.

David Hoe

Year 2 Economics undergraduate. David is a cheery fella with a big heart for the community. David’s full of positive energy and loves to keep the conversation going even during gruelling trainings, which makes them more tolerable and bordering on enjoyable.

Ikhsan Suri

Year 3 Physics undergraduate. Ikhsan is a walking encyclopedia and a think tank in his own, an appreciator of the fine art of Kendo, friendship, cats and talking animals. He’s a member of a secret society in the College who meets over a special concoction on random evenings.

Peien Tan

Year 2 Sociology undergraduate and 2nd College Students’ Committee member. Don’t let her petite size fool you; Pei En’s as energetic as an Energizer bunny and an incinerator of food. You may just need to catch your breath just from listening to her.

Kenneth Yau

Year 2 Political Science undergraduate. Kenneth’s an active contributor to several high profile student led events in the College. An avid runner and cyclist, he’s a man who doesn’t hide his true self behind a facade, for what you see is what you get.

Yan Rui Lim

Year 2 Food Science undergraduate. Yan Rui is a sporty girl with a smile that melts your heart. A healthy eater, she loves her veggies and her Coco'Crunch dry without milk.


Pledge

100% of your contributions will be channelled towards direct, efficient use in the field by The School Pocket Money Fund towards helping less than privileged children through school. And just as no child is too insignificant to assist, so too, no donation is too small to accept. We are grateful for any contribution.