IMPACT
06/22/2010 01:42 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Reza Pakravan Bikes Himalayas To Raise Money For Schools In Madagascar

Over a year ago, Reza Pakravan, a credit risk analyst living in London, spent three weeks on a volunteer trip with UK-based nonprofit Azafady in Madagascar.

CNN reports the short trip had a profound impact on Pakravan, inspiring him to launch an ambitious fundraiser through Azafady to build two schools in rural southeast Madagascar. In total, the two schools will cost $42,000.

When fundraising wasn't going as well as Pakravan hoped, he sprung into action, setting off on a 1,000 kilometer bike ride across the Himalayas alongside friend Marco Gustapane. The pair call their trek the Jellybabies on a Bike Campaign, a name that refers to Pakravan's nickname "jellybaby", given to him by Malagasy locals for the candies he brought to share with the children. The bike trip has been harrowing -- with Pakravan struggling to find supplies in Nepalese villages left vacant by Maoist protests.

After completing his journey, Pakravan is just over $10,000 short of raising enough to build the two desperately needed schools. As he continues to work toward his goal, he reflects on the impact his time in Madagascar has had on him.

Now, he no longer has to "find the time" for charity. "It has become a part of my life," he said.

Pakravan plans to continue fundraising, hoping to one day reach a goal of $450,000 on a larger expedition.