Portefeulje: Openbare Sake
Beriggewer: Theresa Troskie
Datum: 21 Junie 2018
Wonder Walkers? Who are they?
Willem Avenant was a guest speaker at the Murraysburg WAA meeting. He said: I drive on the N1 between the Karoo and Cape Town a lot. Every single time I see people walking along the road, completely destitute. You can clearly see that they are on a mission somewhere, walking with a purpose …
I have named these people the Wonder Walkers. They have nothing, carry nothing, sometimes they would have a little backpack or a cooldrink bottle filled with water and almost always their shoes would be worn out. Summer or winter, sunshine, rain or frost, they are always there – just walking.
On the tiresome N1 between Beaufort West and Laingsburg I would drive past these guys and wonder who they are, where they are from, where they are going, if they are running away from something or have they nothing left to live for? If they are on their way to Cape Town or Johannesburg, how do they get by? They definately have no cell phones, no money, no water. These Walkers have always fascinated me.
Then I started to stop when I should see them, talk to them, give them something to eat. I found that many cannot communicate either in Afrikaans or English, because they are from our neighbouring countries and most of them are on their way to seek a better life in the city.
I then started to stock my car before I drive to Cape Town. I carry food parcels, good second hand clothes, shoes and water. Seeing the emotion when these guys receive a “care package” is something indescribable. The Walkers are on the road, just focusing on surviving and here out of the blue someone stops and gives them something to help them along their journey.
We organise trail runs in the Karoo because nature and being outside is our passion. So I founded Karoo Running – Giving Back. Our long term goal towards the Walkers is to carry stocked backpacks in our cars and give them to Walkers in need.
We now started with the most amazing sleeping bags from Street Sleeper. The outsides are made of the material of old advertisement boards which make them waterproof. They are also designed to be warm, and can be carried like a sling over your arm. The Walker just rolls everything he is carrying into the sleeping bag and carry it on his back. Ultimately we would like to provide a fully stocked back pack with sleeping bag, headlight, reflective vest, a hat or beanie, jacket, shoes and food.
We cannot change where these people come from or where they are going, but we can help them along the way. We feel that this kind of caring is in the spirit of Karoo Running. Eventually we want to document the stories of the Walkers and so, Wonder Walkers was born.
If you would like to get involved, please contact Karoo Running at [email protected]
Willem Avenant met Street Sleeper slaapsak vir Wonder Walkers op N1