Fundraising walk symbolizes refugees fleeing trouble spots

NANAIMO – Moni Khan will walk 65 kilometres from Ladysmith to Parksville to raise money for Doctors Without Borders.

For Moni Khan, a 65-kilometer walk from Ladysmith to Parksville will be 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 will be top-of-mind when Khan, accompanied by her friend Crissa Constatine and her teenaged daughters, set out on a fundraising journey on Friday (Sept. 18), beginning at about 3 a.m.

Khan is expecting to put in 25 hours over the weekend getting from Ladysmith to Parksville by late Saturday or sometime Sunday.

Her goal? To raise $5,000 for Doctors Without Borders, the world’s “leading independent international medical relief organization,” according to its website.

Doctors Without Borders operates in 70 countries, focusing on emergency medical and humanitarian relief. Although physicians volunteer their services to the organization, fundraising is needed for logistical operations and medical supplies.

Khan will have lots of time to think as she advances one step at a time toward Parksville. Her thoughts will focus mainly on the plight of those fleeing persecution, starvation or disease, she said.

“Every step will be worth it,” she said. “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, specifically the online Walk Without Borders Challenge.

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