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From July 2023 to Oct 2023, I will be attempting to walk a pilgrimage of between 1,000 and 1,500 kilometres. This walk will begin with a warm up walk from my Cousins house in the UK to the channel ferry then from St Malo to Mont Saint Michel in France (60 km). The long walk will be from Vezelay in France ending in Spain (950 km). I will be following the ancient pilgrimage routes that have been walked for over a thousand years. (More on “The Challenge” further down the page.)
Making the world a better place through the Rotary Foundation
After some research, I selected the Rotary Foundation as the best choice. The Foundation continually funds projects focussed on:
- Water, sanitation, and hygiene – i.e. Providing safe water for rural communities in Peru,
- Disease prevention and treatment i.e. including the eradication of polio, dialysis machines in remote Australia
- Maternal and child health – i.e Equipping a neonatal intensive care unit in Brazil, Better Nutrition for Women and Infants in PNG
- Basic education and literacy i.e. Improving literacy and numeracy in Australian indigenous communities
- Community economic development i.e. investing in micro businesses in Fiji
- Peacebuilding and conflict prevention i.e. Stopping Abuse in Families Everywhere. Established in Australia, provision of Peace Fellow Scholarships. Assisting Ukrainian victims in the Ukraine and refugees worldwide.
- Environment i.e. Reducing waste in South India, programs for tree preservation and planting worldwide
Unlike some others the Rotary Foundation provides the best value with the highest amount of money going to where it is needed. This is demonstrated by the highest charity rating (Charity Navigator) for the last 14 Years.
What impact can one donation have?
- For as little as 60 cents, a child can be protected from polio.
- $50 can provide clean water to help fight waterborne illness.
- $500 can launch an antibullying campaign and create a safe environment for children.
Google some of the projects they support and I am sure you will be equally impressed with how much support the Foundation gives to make the world a better place. Your donation will contribute to making a difference to millions of lives and improve communities.
So can you also take part in making the world a better place? Yes of course you can!!!
Walking a pilgrimage for over 1,000 kilometres is a significant challenge for anyone and at the outset. To complete this challenge, I need to walk the equivalent of a half marathon to a marathon every day! I must warn you at the outset that I will be 68 with some arthritis in both hips and a dodgy right knee so there are no guarantees here!
That said, in 2016 I walked 820km Camino Frances across Spain 300Km with a tibial plateau fracture, 2018 the Camino Via Podiensis 1,000km from Le Puy France to Burgos Spain (200 km with a broken bone in my foot, healed on the way) and in 2020 during covid the Australian Camino 250 Km from Portland in Victoria to Penola in South Australia (No covid or injuries Yey).
Your donations, support and encouragement will provide the extra drive and motivation for me to succeed in this challenge.
It is conceivable as with any endurance event I may not even get to the start, through training injury, covid or my heart inconsiderately stopping. Nevertheless, this is a wonderful cause so please offer your support anyway even if it may take me a little longer to complete.
There will be progress reports, updates and pictures etc posted on Facebook and on the support page. If you wish you can follow along from preparation and initial training hikes and distances to the finish at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port about 1050 Km or maybe even keep going until recalled by home command.
The walk to Mont Saint Michel will be the warm up for walking Camino Vezelay (Via Lemovicensis). The oldest pilgrim guide (12th century), describes four main routes through France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. One of them is the Vézelay Route (‘Voie de Vézelay’). This 1,800 km route is the least walked of the four.
The reason I chose this route is that it mostly avoids popular French holidaymaker destinations. Especially during July and August. Other than walking, the heat and finding accommodation will be the next biggest challenge. So I will be taking an emergency sleeping system. More on all that in later posts…..
Rotary Foundation World Fund.
The Rotary Foundation exists to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education and the alleviation of poverty. Donations to the World Fund provides flexibility to be used where it is needed most. It is the primary funding source for global grants which support international and Australian activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes.
Better Nutrition for Women and Infants in PNG. Half the children in rural PNG are malnourished. There is little awareness that malnourished children may be irreparably impaired for life – physically, socially and mentally. Build an understanding of the link between nutrition and healthy child development.
Supporting kidney disease patients in outback Australia. Australian and USA clubs and districts funded the A$200,000 purchase of medical equipment to set up a diagnosis and dialysis facility in far northwest South Australia
Polio Plus and the Eradication of Polio
Click the link below if you would like to know more about the eradication of Polio or specifically donate to this cause.