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Story
Kimberley Massey photo
Cyclist Tana Silverland pulls up to Horace Allen school on her recumbent tricycle on Tuesday, May 3rd.
 
Tana Silverland, a cyclist currently making her way across Canada, paid a visit to Horace Allen School on Tuesday, May 3rd to speak with students about her trip, and to teach them about SOS Children’s Villages.
The 38-year-old former U.K. resident recently achieved permanent resident status in Canada, and embarked on a two and a half year trek to become better acquainted with her new home and to spread the word about the children’s charity.
Beginning her journey in Whitehorse in June 2010, Silverland has spent the last 11 months making her way through the Yukon and B.C., stopping in each of the communities she passes through to discuss the work of SOS Children’s Villages, a charity which provides orphaned and abandoned children with new homes and family-based care.
The organization was started in Austria in 1949 and has since spread to 132 countries, currently providing care to 78,000 children and 15,000 young adults worldwide.
Silverland said she first became involved with SOS when she was living in England, after learning that the SOS UK head office was just down the street from where she worked.
“I was fortunate enough to have a good mother and good upbringing, so now I’m doing what I can to make sure all children can have the same positive start in life,” said Silverland. “SOS builds families and communities for the children it helps, providing not just a roof over their heads and food in their bellies, but also stable and loving relationships and someone to call ‘mom’.”
Since the start of her trip, Silverland says she has visited between 40 and 50 Canadian communities, including Surrey, B.C., the home of the only SOS village in Canada.
 
The Crowsnest Pass was Silverland’s first stop in Alberta, coming from Sparwood the day before, and moving on to Pincher Creek after her stay with Horace Allen secretary Mary Anna Misseghers.
Silverland plans to conclude her journey in Newfoundland sometime in the fall of 2012, after travelling more than 10,000 kilometres on her recumbent tricycle, affectionately named “Ranger”.
After taking a couple months off this winter due to poor weather, Silverland has been back on the road since March, travelling an average of 15 to 25 kilometres in an hour, while the trike can get up to 65 to 80 km/h.
Silverland said the trip has been extremely rewarding thus far, allowing her to meet many great people and visit beautiful communities, all while spreading the word about SOS.
“There are so many amazing places I have been to, and I have met so many lovely people,” Silverland told Horace Allen students.
“Even more importantly, I am lucky enough to have a wonderful mom, and I am doing this to try and make sure other children can have a loving home as well.”
One student asked Silverland what we can do to help, to which she responded “learn more, and spread the word.”
For more information on Silverland’s trip, visit her blog “A Place to Call Home”, at tanasilverland.wordpress.com.
For more information on SOS Children’s Villages, visit www.sos-childrensvillages.org.
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   Volume 81 - Issue 19 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
 
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