Dunedin people are invited to lace up their walking shoes and step out in solidarity with refugees across the globe in Sunday’s Share the Journey walk.
Walkers will gather at Marlow Park (the Dinosaur Park) in John Wilson Ocean Dr at 2pm on Sunday, and will walk either 1km, 2km, or 4km, as part of the international Share the Journey campaign.
Launched by Pope Francis in September 2017, the Share the Journey campaign aims to highlight the plight of refugees by encouraging people around the world to collectively walk 1million kilometres.
Sunday’s free Dunedin community walk is the brainchild of the Dunedin Churches Welcome Refugees group, which was formed several years ago to lobby for Dunedin to become a refugee resettlement centre and has been involved in supporting former refugees in the city.
Fr Gerard Aynsley, of the Catholic Church’s Mercy Parish in South Dunedin, said he hoped the walk would attract people from across all of Dunedin’s many ethnic groups and communities.
“Our solidarity walk is also an occasion for us to walk alongside those who are new to our community, including migrants and former refugees in Dunedin, and hear some of their stories,” Fr Aynsley said.
“We want to create chances for people to encounter each other, and to feel part of the community.
“And we would love for people to make the effort to walk with someone new, so they can talk and get to know each other.”
After the walk along John Wilson Ocean Dr, there will be games at Hancock Park (Pirates Rugby Club), including sack races, a tug-of-war and lolly scramble, and a sausage sizzle.
The kilometres walked by those taking part in the Share the Journey event will be combined and submitted to the global campaign total.