For Moni Khan a 65 kilometer walk from Ladysmith to Parksville was an endurance test; for the victims fleeing violence, hunger and disease in trouble spots all over the world, their treks are a matter of life and death.
That difference was top-of-mind when Khan – accompanied by her friend Crissa Constatine and her teenaged daughters – set out on a fundraising journey, long before the crows flew at about 3 a.m., Friday, Sept. 18.
She was expecting to put in 25 hours over the weekend getting from Ladysmith to Parksville by late Saturday or sometime Sunday.
Her goal? Raise $5,000 for Doctors Without Borders, the world’s “leading independent international medical relief organization,” according to its web site.
Doctors Without Boarders operates in 70 countries, focusing on emergency medical and humanitarian relief. Physicians volunteer their services to the organization; fundraising is needed for logistical operations and medical supplies.
Khan said she would have lots of time to think as she advanced one-step-at-a-time toward Parksville, her thoughts focused mainly on the plight of those fleeing persecution, starvation or disease.
“Every step will be worth it,” she said before setting out on her walk. “I will be thinking about how they have to walk hundreds of miles to get to freedom and safety.”
She’s hoping her gesture will raise awareness about the need for funding to help international relief organizations like Doctors Without Borders.
She’s especially hoping her trek will get people donating to Doctors Without Borders on-line Walk Without Borders Challenge.
You can donate by going to walkwithoutborders.ca, then clicking the ‘Individual Search’ button and typing in Khan’s name in the space provided.
That will take you to her fundraising page.