Help us to help them! 25,000km, 20 countries & 2 bamboo bikers from France to New Zealand to provide 4 Thaï schools with clean drinking water!


The project

Our story? It begins in the Netherlands in 2009. It is the story of Joost and Michiel, two young students who decided to cycle from the Arctic to the Antarctic on bamboo bicycles. Their idea? To prove that sustainable solutions are possible to solve such a crucial development issue as a lack of access to clean and safe water.




Their gamble paid off: their bamboo bikes held up during their 30,000 kilometre journey, showing that the quality of this natural material is on par with aluminium, iron or carbon. But their success went further; they encountered many initiatives during their travels, recorded testimonials on the effectiveness of public water policies and systems of water purification, and at the end of their record-breaking attempt they had managed to raise enough funds to finance various humanitarian projects around the world.


This story then continues with a meeting with another student, this one French, on Antarctica. At the same time that this student, Theo, had realized his dream of setting foot and learning from global warming on the White Continent he had quickly found his next mission.




Amazed by the actions of Joost and Michiel, Theo offered to continue their work, and turn Cycle for Water into a movement that gives everyone dedicated to contribute to the cause of water conservation and sustainable development the possibility to do so.


Theo quickly found his buddy Simon willing and able to join him in this journey, a West to East expedition, from France to the other side of the globe... New Zealand!

Both share a passion for nature and its preservation, and they are now seeking your help today.




Today we want to get YOU involved in the adventure, by helping us raise funds for those who are most in need of access to safe water; a basic human right and one of the core Sustainable Development Goals the world intends to meet by 2030.




With limited water purification infrastructure in Thailand we need to work together with professionals in the field, who give their time and energy to the development of their projects. The project we are raising funds for is carried out by the HOAT Foundation, with whom we have a close relationship, and will help to change the lives of nearly 1,040 children in rural Thailand. 



Your intrepid cyclists




Théo Rohfritsch, a 24 years old big dreamer, lover of open spaces, and crazy fundraiser for sustainability, is the only French student to have participated in the International Antarctic Expedition 2012 with Sir Robert Swan O.B.E and 2041. It is also by meeting with Joost and Michiel, the founders of Cycle for Water, that after completing his studies in Corporate Social Responsibility, his ambition was born to make Cycle for Water a movement! 

Simon Valdenaire, a 26 years old enthusiastic who shares a full passion for sustainable development, traveler and entrepreneur, has been involved with pugnacity in the creation of a student network for sustainable development, SENSD, and continues to persevere in accompanying small and medium businesses getting more responsible! 



Our action with HOAT



The HOAT foundation, based in the Netherlands, is active in the rural Northeast Thailand, named Isaan, the poorest part of the country.


The Foundation supports the installation of rainwater harvesting and purification systems but also well- and surface water purification systems at rural schools in this region.


Over 3000 children have already benefited from the help of the Foundation, thanks to among others the action of Joost & Michiel. It is a bond of trust we have tied with this organization, through the seriousness and continuity of our collaboration.

We visited in March 2016 each of the schools selected by the foundation and attested firsthand the drinking water needs and deficiencies.




State of play: In this region of Thailand, mostly composed of farmers, water resources are used for the culture of rice, cassava, sugar cane and eucalyptus.


The population living in this area has always been dependent on rainwater as the best choice for drinking water.


As in the rest of the country, population increase, urbanization, agricultural and industrial expansion are causing degradation of the quality of water supplies. The lack of regulations on the exploitation of groundwater is resulting in an over-exploited stock of water resources, causing soil depletion.


The water crisis in Thailand is accentuated by severe flooding during the monsoon period, as well as major droughts the rest of the year.


In order to ensure constant access to potable water to the population, water must be stored in concrete "Water Tanks". The rain water is collected by a system of roofs and gutters.




This system has many loopholes in its ability to maintain adequate and potable water quality.

It has many pathogenic elements caused by the presence of animal faeces (birds, cats, rats and reptiles) or decomposing animals that drowned in the tanks. They can also promote the proliferation of mosquitoes and other pests.

Recognizing this, the Foundation Hoat acts in cooperation with the countries most affected by beneficiaries of water deficiency: schoolchildren.


The links between access to water and education are more intertwined than it seems. Indeed, in a region where only half of schools have access to decent sanitation, it is so much risk that young girls leave school before the age of puberty.

The boys also see their limited future without a stable supply of drinking water, decisive criterion for their health and therefore the success of their studies.




A lack of clean water increases school absenteeism of its students, and indirectly increases poverty in a given region.

The Foundation Hoat breaks this vicious circle, building the infrastructure and encouraging children to bring drinking water from school to their homes.





Let's do this!


So far, the Hoat Foundation provided water purification systems in more than 13 schools, allowing more than 5,000 children having access to safe and clean drinking water.


The project involves the supply of drinking water in 4 schools in this region. Three of them will be installed as being rain water harvesting and purification . The fourth, being unable to capture water from the rain, must use a system of purification of well water. Therefore, more costly, involves a more complex filter system cleaning the chemical elements from contaminated soil water.




The names of the schools are given below:

-Ban Tung Wang, ground water (well water) for 416 children

-Ban Ta Ma, rain water harvesting for 168 children

-Ban Sa waay Ta ngone, rain water harvesting for 188 children

-Ban Nong Kab rainwater harvesting for 211 children


The total project cost is around € 9,000.


The project will start about two months after the end of the crowdfunding campaign, ie in June. Each school requires about three weeks of work. We therefore consider the end of the project to be in September.


A message from Ruben, the founder of HOAT




"My name is Ruben van Beek,

Originally from the Netherlands but I live more than 12 years in Thailand.

Together with my wife Sriya, I founded in 2007 a foundation with the name “HOAT”. 

In those days when I arrived for the first time in this poor countryside, I wondered if there was something we could help the local peole with, in order to get a little bit better life.

It didn't seem fair to me when I saw the situation of the local people while keeping in mind where I come from we can drink the water straight from the faucet and most of us take that for granted. While, us, in the west flush our toilets with drinking water, the children here often drink water with traces of feces in it...

Our foundation installs water purification systems in rural schools of which you can find more on our website:

Our work was honored by visits of collegues from all over the world, reports in Thai, Dutch, and Chinese newspapers, magazines and TV.

In september 2009 we received an award from the governor of the province Buriram where we are located.


Clean water....Children first! Why? Because they don't have a vote in this they just depend on us, adults."

Why fund it?

A funding of € 10,000 will be used for the following expenditures:


-Covering the Kisskissbankbank 8% fee : 800 €


Finance 3 rainwater system in 3 schools, following this budget:


-Purchase of the filtration system : 413 euro

-Purchase of the gutters + downspouts : 310 euro

-Purchase of the tank top filters : 51 euro

-Purchase of the pump : 180 euro

-Reparation of the basic structure of the water tanks : 103 euro

-Purchase of PVC pipes : 129 euro

-Purchase of the electra : 129 euro

-Pay the labour workforce : 258 euro

-Purchase of the overhead : 258 euro

-Total = 1835 euro

-X 3 schools = 5506 euro




Finance 1 groundwater system for the school not being able to fetch rain water, following this budget:


-Purchase the ground water system : 2184 euro

-Purchase 2 pumps : 360 euro

-Pay the labour workforce : 103 euro

-Purchase of the electra : 233 euro

-Purchase of the PVC pipes and valves : 258 euro

-Purchase of the overhead : 258 euro

-Total = 3554 euro




The systems have a life span of 15 - 20 years. The maintenance will be be paid with yearly school budget. Schools and village people (parents) sign an MOU to ensure the sustainability of the system and therefor the donated sum. 



A funding of € 10,000+ will allow us, beyond the previous costs listed, to:


-As part of this journey, and in the continuation of the "Cycle for Water" mission, Theo and Simon target to finance up to € 25,000 of water projects to which the first one is already introduced to you. Every extra donation will enable the financing of two other projects, which each budget is of € 7,500.

-A part of this amount may also be used to cover extra budget expenditures, such as bike reparations, or GPS maps not initially set on our device, or even the extra costs dues to traveling with bikes to cross the ocean, etc!



Counterparts details and conditions:

-NIRVANA WAVE: Audio record available only in French

-OVERPOWERFUL WATERFALL: CycleforWater polo t-shirt color is different from the counterpart image, it is white polo t-shirt with the CycleforWater logo in blue (looking even better!)

-INACESSIBLE GLACIER & INDESTRUCTIBLE ICEBERG: Transport fees to come at the starting point are at your charge

-5 PLANETARY OCEANS: Only for residents in France


CycleforWater is a non profit organisation which aims to raise awareness about the importance of clean drinking water and fund humanitarian projects in differents parts of the world.

FAQ Questions about the project

+ Why France to New Zealand?

To connect the other pole, of course! To make sure that the people there don't walk upside down!
More seriously, it is also to be part of the logical continuity of the project. Joost and Michiel did their journey from North to South, we do it from West to East!

+ How long are you traveling?

A year all round. A little more even, 13 months. We left on July 27 in Toulouse. We seek also a reception committee to celebrate our arrival in New Zealand. Are you interested?

+ How will you cross the ocean from Australia to New Zealand?

Two choices are required. The raft, or water bike. Depending on wind speed and ocean currents, our decision still fluctuates.
But no! We will go through Air Bamboo.

+ What is the purpose of Cycle for Water?

Raise awareness of the need to protect our water resources. Unfortunately a problem with high growth rates in double figures at least! Water is life! But also economic stability, peace between countries, and also respect for human dignity. Its access is a human right after all!
Our second objective: to finance purifying water infrastructures to poor communities like the communities targeted with the Hoat Foundation.

+ What are the possible solutions?

Many solutions are possible to bring water to 785 million people that don't have access to it. But it is a multifaceted problem. It is sometimes a geopolitical one, rivers crossing several countries at once. It can be a gender problem, women and girls being often assigned to fetch water for the family. It may be cultural, some water being polluted by poor hygiene practices. It can be economic, as certain activities, including agriculture, can consume a region stocks. There is no single answer to this, but there are many technological solutions to address each of these characteristics. What we want is a real desire to preserve water. Where there is a Will, there is a way!

+ How to become the next CFW ambassador?

Tip number 1: Do not think that only sports makes the journey!
Tip number 2: Work your English (especially hard for French folks!).
Tip number three: go for a few days cycling independently.
Tip number 4: get a lot of positive energy.
Tip number 5: train your digestive system at the nearest Indian restaurant.
Tip number 6: find a teammate!
Tip Number 7: contact us!

+ Where can I learn more about Cycle for Water?

First, check out our website for conventional details:
Follow our progress daily on Facebook or Twitter (@Cycleforwater).
For behind the scenes of the adventure, join us on Instagram: Cycleforwater

+ What other projects are you funding?

We will fund two projects in two other Asian countries, with two other partner NGOs. We hope at the end of our journey, to raise about € 25,000 thanks to your donations!

+ What training have you received before departure?

Digestive walks on Sundays! Some additional stretching, and that's it! Sports lovers but not cyclists, we have mostly grown our sense of adventure, and a good understanding of the other teammate. Cycling is not the most difficult! The hard part is the rest: eat, drink, sleep, communicate.

+ Are your legs ok?

This response is indexed to the rate of road gradient on which we ride! At present, it is rather flat! Good!

+ How do you finance your everyday expenses?

We are accompanied by a sponsor, KPMG, which financed our material expenditures, and gives us a basic budget allowing us to cover our food and insurance costs, visa and transportation with Air Bamboo

+ How do you communicate to make you understand, in the countries you cross?

When nobody speaks a common language, to be understood, the theater is the best teacher! In general, it is enough. Otherwise, we use a small manual, the "No comprendo" with a series of icons to show what we need.

+ Why travel on bamboo bikes?

Is flex! It's solid! It's green, and fun!
And above all, we renew the bet that this material can hold as well as chemical materials and unnatural pollutants that we all know. Bamboo is the way to go!

+ What equipment do you have with your bikes?

We have four bags and a trailer. We have to take everything in complete autonomy (winter clothes, stove, tent, hair dryer, umbrella, Rolex and evening jacket).
About a little more than 50 kilos, and much ingenuity needed to take it all in an aircraft.

+ Where do you sleep?

Just about everywhere. In the forest, homestay, in the garden of the inhabitant, in the offices of our sponsors, in campsites, youth hostels, affordable hotels, cafes or lounges restaurants, beach ...... .

+ Your most unusual story?

The most unusual is difficult, but the most recent, that of not knowing what currency we have on our pocket going throughout countries. Here's how we think that we have 143 euros in the pocket, believing that we have a Russian currency note of 10000 Rouble, while it actually was a Belarusian one! 50 cents one ...

Newest comments

Hi Guys! Not a huge contribution but just to show my solidarity with the cause! All the very best. Supriya
For a better world
si vous passez par Grenoble ou Cavalaire sur mer vous serez les bienvenus !