Kate Walks To Rome
Kate, a 28 year old German girl, is walking over 1100km from Lausanne to Rome in order to raise money for a humanitarian aid organisation working in conflict areas in the Middle East.
Dear family, friends and strangers,
dear people form near and afar,
on Monday July 28th, I am setting out to walk over 1.100 kilometres (680 miles) from Lausanne, Switzerland to Rome, Italy. This is a pilgrimage. It is called the Via Francigena and the second of three well known Pilgrimages in the world.
In Spring 2012 I walked the first one, the Camino de Santiago, 900 kilometres, from St Jean Pied de Port in France over the Pyrenees via Santiago de Compostela to Fisterra, the Western end of Northern Spain. That walk was accompanied by torn muscles, inflamed blisters, antibiotics and loads of painkillers. In my memory however, the walk was total bliss. I guess, that’s simply what we do. We forget the pain after it’s gone. Setting out on this new trip now, I am well aware though, that just because pain and sorrow aren’t immediate, it does not mean, they do not exist.
The other day for example, I watched the World Cup game between Germany and Brazil. It ended 7:1 and I guess it was not only me who was totally overwhelmed by this game. What happened on the field seemed to be something like a miracle and German fans all over the world celebrated while I guess other football fans were at least equally impressed. When I went to bed after the game and checked my smart phone, I had two news of the world on it that my news ticker had thought of as important enough to send through. Schürrle scores the 7:0 and Israel is sending rockets to Gaza. The long hoped freedom in the Middle East had just disappeared, to the opposite, the war had reached a bad scale once more. As much as I love football, when I read those two notes, I thought to myself that there was something very wrong about the Western world celebrating some over paid guys kicking a ball around while people elsewhere were being bombed without any form of shelter. Pain and suffering, just because it isn’t immediately there in our everyday lives, exists all over the world and we should be aware of it.
This incident made me feel even more the importance of pursuing my walk as a Peace Pilgrim. I will be arriving in Rome on September 21st, the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a day of non-violence and cease-fire. This year’s theme is “Right of Peoples to Peace”. I am well aware, that me walking through Italy won’t actually create peace in the world, and I will start my studies of Peace and Security in October this year to have a bigger impact in the long run, but for now, me walking can be of help for two reasons: I want to support Peace One Day in its purpose to raise awareness for Peace Day and I want to help the people who do not live in peace by raising money for them to have a better life.
Therefore, I am asking you to support my walk by donating some money. As I said, it’s not for me! I will give every cent to ANERA, a humanitarian aid organisation working in the Middle East that helps people who don’t have the luxury of cheering on some football players in fancy uniforms. Instead, ANERA builds shelters, ensures medical treatment and taks scare of education. They support citizens and refugees, organise social events to build friendships and a sense of community amongst strangers. I want to support these actions by taking action myself. Let’s help together. I will do all the suffering this time. Please sponsor me for every kilometre, for half of the walk or for reaching my destination or simply make a general one of donation. However much you can spare will make a difference. Your help and support are very much appreciated, not only by me.