Nick Lawson Will Run the Length of Africa Barefoot Over 12 Months to Promote the Power of Love
It’s a story that’s straight out of Forrest Gump. In a few weeks’ time, Nick Lawson, a young man from Sydney, Australia will set out to run the length of Africa, from South Africa north to Tunisia, a journey of more than 30,000 kilometres.
Forrest Gump, as played by Tom Hanks, explained why he embarked on an unthinkably massive run by saying “I just kept on running.” But, Lawson has a greater mission statement: he’ll be running to spread a message of love, and he wants people from every country on the planet to join him.
Lawson has been gathering a small army of supporters who will run legs of the journey with him. The route will start at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, and 12 months later, after passing through 23 countries, the epic adventure will end at Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia, the continent’s northernmost point.
“People can run however much they want to, and love will link the people and the countries we’re running through,” says Lawson, who himself will run a marathon (42km) a day. “It’s all about belief. I believe in myself not just for the physical journey, but to get the whole world involved and spread a message of love because once you believe in something with every cell in your body then magic happens and things fall into place.”
Lawson was 21 when he first travelled to Africa in 2012, working as a volunteer teacher in the Kibera slum camp on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. He helped build a small school inside the camp for disabled people. Before starting the run, he will return to the site with a crew of international volunteers to build a new facility and get more students into the school.
“I love Africa: the people, their passion, their struggle,” Lawson says. “Through everything, they keep smiling, they have beauty, they have love. Yeah, there is famine. Yeah, there is war. But, that doesn’t bother me because I know that the problems stem deeper than humans being evil. They aren’t.”
As well as recruiting running companions, Lawson has reached out to celebrities, NGOs, and socially responsible organisations in hopes of creating mutually beneficial partnerships. A documentary team will also be joining him for part of the journey, and fundraising is already underway. Lawson is raising money for UNHCR (Australian fundraising branch for the UNHCR) and for New Beginnings (the school he built in Kenya), and each individual joining him will be raising money for their own chosen charities.
One thing’s for sure, with so much support around the world Lawson will never be alone on his mission to promote love.
For more information or to make a donation visit www.runforlove2018.com
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