Thirteen-year-old Alex Weber is hosting Wheels for Wells
for the fourth straight year. The charity bike ride has raised approximately $120,000 that has been spent on drilling water wells in Mauritania
, giving more than 36,000 people access to clean water.
This year, Alex is taking his bike from his home province of Alberta globally. He’ll be going to Tanzania
for a five-day ride and visiting a water project like the ones Wheels for Wells has funded. Childview
caught up with Alex to talk about this year’s ride.
Alex, you’re spending a lot of your spare time raising money for a great cause. Why are you doing this fundraiser?
Two reasons. When I was nine, I was looking through the World Vision Gift Catalogue
, and it said 4,500 kids died every day from water-related diseases. That really bothered me and I wanted to do something about it. My dream is for the entire world to have clean water, and I’m going to do this until that becomes a reality.
You were bothered by something and you actually did something. What got you to actually move ahead? I felt God calling me to do something about it and I just went where he led me. I did what he told me and I started this bike ride, Wheels for Wells.
Why did you choose to raise funds through a bike ride? Cycling is one of my favourite things to do. I also do triathlons and bike tours, and I thought it would be a great way to raise money.
Sounds like you’re an overall-athlete kind of guy. I love sports. Pretty much everything: soccer, skiing, triathlon—everything I can do.
Alex Weber (green).
Do you have to train a lot before you do a cycling fundraiser? I should be training more than I am. I think my dad would like me to train more than I am.
How about a special bike? You must have a great one. Not really, just my normal bike. It’s my mom’s old one, but it fits me perfectly.
I’m assuming your family is pretty supportive of all this. Without them, it wouldn’t be possible. My mom and dad drive me to places where I have to go. My siblings are helpful and have lots of ideas. I’m the oldest of four kids.
I know your family sponsors a child. Are you thinking of your sponsored child when you do Wheels for Wells? I was hoping we’d be able to drill a well in his village. I think they already have one and that’s great too. I’d like to see more kids like him live better lives because they have clean water.
This summer you head to Tanzania. Tell me about that. We will still have a ride in Calgary in May, and then two others in Saskatchewan. Then in July, we’re going to have a five-day bike tour through Tanzania. Hopefully we’ll be able to visit a community with World Vision. It will be really cool to see one. It will be me, my mom and anyone else who wants to join us.
Tanzania in July—Sounds really hot. It’s all on dirt roads. If we did it any other time, we would be driving through mud. We’re going to drink lots of water when we are there.
Have you been to Africa before? No, I haven’t. It’s going to be really cool. I’m really excited. It will be such a good experience to see where we’ve been helping out, and it’s especially cool we’ll be biking. Last year, I had this dream that I was cycling around the world, and wherever we rode, the people had clean water. In my dream, when I was done, the whole world had clean water.
The next day we got a plaque from World Vision in the mail, and it’s this guy on a bike with water coming out of the ground beneath him. It’s really cool. I think that’s God telling us we are supposed to do that. I’d like to bike on six continents eventually, so this is a first step.
That is a very cool story. What advice do you have for other young people who care a lot about issues, but haven’t moved to the action stage like you have? Listen to God. Do what he’s calling you to do and leading you to do. Don’t wait till you’re older. You’re always old enough to make a difference.
INTERVIEW HAS BEEN CONDENSED AND EDITED.
This article was published on March 30, 2015.