Australian poverty ambassador laces up for walk across southern Africa
18 July 2016
Australian Matt Napier’s mission to end world poverty is seeing him walk 2,250 kilometres across Southern Africa to raise awareness of the importance of reducing poverty around the world through sustainable development.
Photo: Australian High Commissioner to South Africa, Adam McCarthy (left), this morning joined Matt (as he commenced the final leg of his southern African trek, towards Maputo from Pretoria) in walking for 67 minutes in celebration of Mandela Day
As part of the Walk to a Better World campaign, Matt is travelling through Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique – a journey that will take him around 2 months to complete. He is kicking or carrying a football for the entire trip as a way of connecting with people from all walks of life and highlighting how sport is being used as a tool to help alleviate poverty in Africa.
“I’m hoping to help all Australians better understand the role they can play in ending world poverty in the next generation, and the importance of supporting sustainable development that works hand-in-hand with local communities” Matt said.
“I’ll have a support crew following me the whole way and we will record the journey through video blogs to provide an insight into the way of life for communities living in poverty and the projects that are empowering them to create better futures.
“We’ve also recently launched an online pledge to encourage people to donate as little as 1% of their income to leading charity organisations in order to ensure sustainable development projects are well funded and can continue to create a better world.”
Matt’s journey started on 4 June in Walvis Bay in Namibia. From there, he travelled through the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, and is now in South Africa and heading towards the finish line in Maputo on 3 August.
Matt has previously cycled and walked across Australia for the same cause in 2012 and 2013 respectively. “These events have created significant media and public interest and I am confident that this next initiative will reach even more people” says Matt.
Funds raised through the online pledge will support the important work of four charity partners - Oxfam Australia, The Fred Hollows Foundation, CARE Australia and Caritas Australia.
To keep up to date in the lead up to Matt’s first steps, follow the Walk to a Better World team on their website www.walktoabetterworld.com, Facebook or Twitter (@WalkTBW).
The Australian High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa