|The very brave Bernii, with her 50-kilo loaded bicycle...|
Her name is Bernadette. But she prefers Bernii. She comes all the way from Melbourne, Australia. And the 16th of June 2011, she "landed" here in Paluse, for a night and morning stopover. "Landed", so to speak... She actually cycled to here. One month ago, she was still in Helsinki. She stayed there for a few days, before starting her trip : 3000 kms through the 3 Baltic countries, for 3 months. At first, the trip was going to be just holidays. It's only two weeks before she left Australia that she thought about raising awareness and money for mental disabilities.
"This is a huge issue in Australia, Bernii explains. Lots of people suffer, and there's not enough money for it. Plus there are still prejudices. If you have a physical illness, people can see it and acknowledge it. But if you have a mental illness, it's a lot more difficult."
So before leaving Australia for Europe, she sent a common email to all her colleagues at work (she worked for the State, as a project officer to help people to carpool), and to all her friends, eventually trying to collect as much as 3000 Australian dollars for the Mental Illness Fellowship. She collected more than half of it for now, and still hopes to achieve her goal.
If you're intererested by her ongoing project, check it out on :
or on her blog :