Two alumni are walking 2000 kilometres to Rome in just 60 days to raise money for Syrian refugees.
Sam Webb (Tyson's 2021) and Matthew Tsegay (Tulley's 2021) who are now at Edinburgh University, have just embarked on a 2,000 kilometre walk from Canterbury to Rome, following the ancient Via Francigena. Not only that, they are attempting to complete it in 60 days (when the average time is 90-100 days!) And it’s all to raise money for a very good cause; supporting education projects for Syrian refugees. The money raised will go to a charity in Lebanon, Tuyoor Al Amal (‘Birds of Hope’) which was set up by Syrian refugees and is for Syrian refugees in Tripoli, the poorest city in Lebanon. They are currently providing a full education to over 2,000 children from reception to Grade 12, the final year of high school.
So what prompted this adventure?
Sam explains “Our initial enthusiasm was sparked by Duke of Edinburgh and then during the summer after our GCSEs, we walked Offas Dyke which follows the England-Wales border. We loved the freedom that came with pitching up tents as we liked and moving on as we pleased. We found walking a beautiful option for travel, given its simplicity and the fact you could go anywhere you wanted, not constrained by roads like a car nor needing a hotel which is most common when travelling abroad.”
Why is this cause so important to you?
“We believe education to be a universal right. Which sadly in times of war or economic hardship is often the first to be lost. The children in Birds of Hope are dealing with the effects of both. At the moment given Lebanon’s spiralling economic crisis, it’s more important than ever to support these causes. We believe in the long term goal of ensuring education is key to economic recovery and regional stability. It costs around £115 for each child to be educated for one year. The schools help to support the community in any way they can to give these children a fighting chance of having a better life through education."
You can follow Sam and Matthew’s progress via Instagram here and support their fundraising here