Nickelback Guitarist and Wife Undertake South Sudan Basic Needs Challenge

By Aaron Brophy 8/13/15 |

Nickelback guitarist Ryan Peake and his wife, fashion entrepreneur and philanthropist Treana Peake, are experiencing the difficulties of living with a lot less right now while they participate in the South Sudan Basic Needs Challenge to support Obakki Foundation and encourage others to join them.

Created by Treana in 2009, who is the founder of the Obakki fashion line, the Obakki Foundation has funded the drilling of more than 700 water wells in South Sudan. Treana has also helped build schools in Cameroon and supported a number of orphanages in over 20 years of humanitarian work.

The five-day South Sudan Basic Needs Challenge, which started on Aug. 10 and ends on Aug. 14, mirrors the daily struggles of living in South Sudan, Africa.

Between Aug. 10-12, the Peakes will reduce their normal diet to three cups of rice per day (roughly 600 calories), the average daily food intake for a South Sudanese person. On Aug. 13, the pair will pursue a water challenge by hiking six kilometres carrying a jerry can filled with water weighing approximately 18 kilograms to replicate the journey South Sudanese persons — frequently women or children — undertake each day to obtain water. For their final challenge on Aug. 14, they'll spend 24 hours in a field with only a single possession to experience what it's like at South Sudanese internally displaced persons camps.

"I think I'm going to bring a blanket. What else would you bring?" Ryan asked rhetorically in a video the pair shot to explain the shelter challenge. "When you do that kind of stuff it's like absolute necessity.

"These won't be huge challenges. They're not meant to be taken trivially, but they are challenges about how people actually live over there. The conditions are quite tough all the way around with food, water and shelter."

War and a famine caused by drought in the South Sudan region has affected nearly five million people there. The basic needs challenge is meant to educate people on what these people deal with each day. Updates on the Peakes' progress through their challenge can be followed on the Obakki Foundation Twitter account.

According to the foundation's website, it gives 100 per cent of public donations directly to its humanitarian projects on top of running programs like "Scarves For Water," where 100 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of various limited edition scarves go towards Obakki's projects.

"Ryan and I are so grateful for the life that we have," said Treana in a press release. "Our children don’t go to bed hungry, they don’t have to walk six kilometres a day to get water, and they are safe and warm at night in our home. Just by spending a few days in the shoes of someone from South Sudan, I believe we can show how difficult it is for the people there. And – as much as I want to show how different their existence is from the one that many of us in first world countries know – I also want people to see that we really are the same. The need in South Sudan for basics like food, water and shelter is so great. I know that through this challenge and with the support of our Obakki Foundation community and Nickelback fans, we can help raise awareness of the urgent need in South Sudan."

Obakki Foundation and Nickelback: Basic Needs Challenge from Obakki Foundation on Vimeo.

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