Two students from UIC Barcelona take part in Uniraid 2020, the charitable quest across the Moroccan desert

14/02/20
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The third year Business Administration and Management students, Arturo Hernández and Luis Navas embark upon an adventure spanning nine days and seven stages across Morocco in a Peugeot 205 from 1995

Two students from UIC Barcelona take part in Uniraid 2020, the charitable quest across the Moroccan desert

From UIC Barcelona to Morocco and then, starting from Tangier, some 3,000 kilometres divided into seven stages with nothing but a roadbook, a map and a compass. Electronic devices are not permitted. Nor are state-of-the-art vehicles: competitors must complete the race in a car that is at least twenty years old and that fulfils some very specific requirements. In an interesting twist, it won’t be the fastest competitors who are crowned the winners, rather the team that completes the race in the fewest kilometres. This tremendous challenge will be faced by Arturo Hernández and Luis Navas, two third year Business Administration and Management students who have decided to take part in Uniraid 2020, which kicks off tomorrow and will continue in full swing until 23 February 2020.

Uniraid is a project aimed at students between 18 and 28 years old that promotes participation over coming first. This is not a test of speed and it’s not a rally either. It’s a nine-day trip across the Moroccan desert in the spirit of helping others. All participants will be loaded up with 30 kg of aid provisions that they will distribute to the villages they visit along the way. The setup of the race also puts participants through their paces with strategic thinking and skill-based tests en route.

“After speaking to some friends that had taken part in previous editions, we decided that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get involved this year”, commented Arturo, who’s well aware that the race will “test our patience and ability to cope with stress, breakdowns and hours of driving, but in the end it will all be worthwhile”. He also sees the charitable spirit of the trip as one of the most attractive aspects: “We’re really looking forward to being able to deliver all the provisions we’re taking with us and see what life is really like in this part of rural Morocco”.

It hasn’t been an easy run-up to the race either. Luis describes how fixing up the Peugeot 205 and adapting it to the conditions they’ll be facing over the course of the nine days “has been no easy feat as there have been several mechanical setbacks”. That being said, he explains how the most demanding undertaking has been securing sponsorship. “We’ve been lucky in that UIC Barcelona has been able to help us out from day one, and thanks to a small crowdfunding project and support from other companies, we’ll be able to finance the majority of the trip”.

The end goal for both students on this adventure is none other than making a difference wherever they go. Bon voyage!