Partially sighted Tore Nærland from Bryne has the last 40 years used bicycle worldwide as an advocate for disarmament, peace and democracy. Life has given me both ups and downs,Tore Nærland says. – But people I’ve met along the way have given me much inspiration back. In 1996 a 9 year old boy in Taiwan named Chou Ta-kuan had to amputate one leg because of cancer. But he showed great outraged and love of life.
– I still have one leg left to stand on this beautiful Earth, he said. But in May 1997 he had to give up his life.
In memory of their brave son, his parents created a foundation named after him. The Foundation is behind the International Memorial Prize to promote love for life. To date, 310 people from 51 countries have received the prize.
Here is a link to last year´s article:
Tore Nærland attended the award celebration in Stavagner and talked about his first visit to Taiwan in 1974 when he met the doctors Kristoffer Fotland and Olav Bjørgaas, both as him from Rogaland in south west Norway. They inspired him to do something for people of the world. It was his first trip outside Europe. Since then Tore Nærland has met world leaders all over the world, but the missionaries has been his inspiration and heroes all these years.
This year 2341 were nominated. 18 winners were chosen from countries as Norway, Taiwan, Turkey, Belgium, Ecuador, Kenya, and the Marshall Islands. Tore Naerland was among them.
All award winners were invited to Taiwan to receve the prize and to visit schools to inspire the students.Only nine could join the events in Taiwan. They met the President, the Minister of Education and other important people. They visited several hospitals with cancer ward for children and gave encouragement to patients. Several colleges were visited, the winners encouraged students to act for peace, human rights and social integration. Up to 2,000 students attended each lecture.
President Ma held an inspiring speech for the winners and said that love has become one of Taiwan’s exports. Chou Ta-Kuan organization is a symbol of Taiwan’s spirit. Tore presented him a cycling shirt and his latest book Bike Away the Nuclear Bombs (photo). The first chapter in the book about Tore´s first visit to Taiwan in 1974. When the president was the mayor of Taipei, he was eager to have more bike trails in the capital. Tore Naerland invited him therefore to join bike tours with Bike for Peace and Mayors for Peace on tours in Norway, USA, Russia and Marshall Islands. The president visited Norway in 1987 and became friends with Torbjorn Faeroyvik, but said he will not have time to go back in the near future.