A group of walkers from a Wallasey have joined thousands of others to help complete a 24,900-mile walk around the world in solidarity with refugees.
On 18 March, over twenty supporters of the international development charity CAFOD hosted the first of many walks in their community as part of their goal to reach 500 miles walked for the Share the Journey campaign.
The Share the Journey campaign, launched by Pope Francis last year, aims to promote greater understanding of refugees and migrants and to call on governments to protect those forced to flee their homes due to poverty or war. It is being championed by international Catholic charities, including CAFOD.
CAFOD supporters are aiming to walk 24,900 miles – the distance around the world – by September in solidarity with refugees.
The seven-mile walk, organised by members of the parish of Holy Apostles and Martyrs in Wallasey, spanned from Wallasey village through to New Brighton, with views of the Mersey Estuary and the Irish Sea.
The group hopes their walk will raise awareness before world leaders meet on 19 September at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to reach two new agreements on protecting refugees and migrants.
One of the organisers of the walk, Anne Litherland, said: “It’s amazing to be able to stand in solidarity with refugees and take some positive action on something we often feel so powerless to help. This is our chance to follow Pope Francis’ lead and bring the community together.
“We are in the middle of finalising more dates for walks so that we will be able to reach our goal of 500 miles. It’s brilliant that we were joined by young people too, including members of the Catholic youth organisation, the Youth SVP, who were sponsored to raise funds for CAFOD, and another group who were fundraising for their trip to Lourdes later this year.”
Groups across England and Wales are now urging Britain to play a leading role in the UN negotiations. CAFOD has launched a petition to the Prime Minister to ensure the UK takes a prominent lead at the assembly.
CAFOD’s local representative in Wallasey, Katie Hallows, added: “We want to say a massive thank you to those at the parish of Holy Apostles and Martyrs in Wallasey. They came together and showed local leaders that protecting refugees and migrants is an important issue to their communities.
“Share the Journey will deliver a powerful message to world leaders that we want new global agreements that ensure refugees and migrants can live fairly and with dignity.”