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Pope Francis blesses the Vespa with which Jose Antonio Fernandez will travel the Pamplona-Dakar-Pamplona route.

The funds raised by the second 'Vespa Extreme - Wheels for life' expedition will be donated to high school of Tropical Health of the University of Navarra.

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Pope Francis blesses José Antonio Fernández's Vespa, for his solidarity degree program for the benefit of the high school of Tropical Health of the University of Navarra. PHOTO:
08/11/17 16:38

Pope Francis blessed today at the Vatican the Vespa with which the Spanish adventurer José Antonio Fernández will carry out his next adventure Pamplona-Dakar-Pamplona. The expedition is part of the project 'Vespa Extreme - Wheels for Life goal The expedition is part of research , an initiative that aims to raise funds for the of neglected diseases, through the high school of Tropical Health of the University of Navarra (ISTUN)and to raise awareness in society about these diseases, which affect millions of people.

At the framework of the General Audience, José Antonio Fernández had the opportunity to present to the Pope the solidarity initiative and the Vespa with which he will travel the nearly 10,000 kilometers of the Vespa Extreme: Dakar 2017 trip. In this journey, which will begin on November 20, he will travel the distance between Pamplona and Dakar (Senegal) without any logistical support subject , to bring medicines to the Hospital Center University Aristide Le Dantec.

The adventure, which will end on December 10, involves a journey of almost 10,000 kilometers of which about 6,000 are on roads and tracks between dunes. This is the second "Vespa Extreme" expedition carried out by José Antonio Fernández, after becoming in January the first person to reach the North Cape on a Vespa in plenary session of the Executive Council winter and without logistical support in order to raise funds for ISTUN. 

goal500,000 euros for research for neglected diseases

José Antonio Fernández stated that "His Holiness Pope Francis has taken an interest in the difficulties involved in this new solidarity adventure and has placed value on the implementation of initiatives that serve to raise awareness of neglected diseases".

In addition, during his trip to Italy, José Antonio Fernández presented the solidarity initiative to Jesús Manuel Gracia Aldaz, Spanish Ambassador to Italy and San Marino, and to Gerardo Bugallo Ottone, Spanish Ambassador to the Holy See.

The initiative 'Vespa Extreme - Wheels for Life' started in May a campaign to raise funds and support for the development of this solidarity trip with the goal to raise 500,000 euros to finance the ISTUN. The high school was created in 2011 to investigate diseases that affect developing countries development, in partnership with hospitals and centers of research of universities in those countries and taking advantage of the experience of the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science, Nursing and the Clínica Universidad de Navarra.

All the money raised in the campaign will go entirely to this high school , since José Antonio Fernández self-finances his Vespa Extreme trips. In addition, a space has been set up on the ISTUN website for individual donors to make their contributions( school-de-salud-tropical/amigos).

The adventure can be followed minute by minute through the SPOT geolocator, social networks and the blog: