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Overseas Health Insurance News: Expats to cycle through 19 countries for fundraising drive

Two expatriates that have been living in Shanghai, one British and one French, are to set off on a fundraising bike ride this week.

But instead of doing a 20-mile jaunt into the countryside they will be travelling through nearly that many countries in order to raise money for the Operation Smile charity.

Oli Goulden and Matthieu Liard both work for the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather and will cycle from their adopted home of Shanghai back to London, covering a total distance of 10,000 miles.

Their trip will include four deserts and three mountain ranges, but the pair hopes to raise $200,000 (£132,000) for the cause.

Operation Smile provides free healthcare evaluations and surgery to children in 60 countries across the world who have been born with facial deformities, with China among them.

Mr Goulden and Mr Liard will visit two of the mission stations operated in China and Italy by the non-profit organisation along the way.

They will volunteer their services as they attempt to raise enough cash to fund 100 operations to address issues such as cleft palates in children.

High profile sponsors of the bike ride include The North Face, Wrangler and Oakley.

The pair has undergone plenty of training on trips around China and Tibet in recent months to prepare for their journey, which is due to begin on Thursday (March 28th).

So far they have blogged about their experiences trying to obtain visas and the other organisational tasks they have carried out.

Along the way they will keep sponsors and other interested parties up to date on their progress and the encounters they have along the way.

Their planned route will take them from China through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, France and on to the UK.

You can follow Mr Goulden and Mr Liard's journey by clicking here.

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