Uni rides his scooter from Melbourne to Cairns
© Supplied
Location icon Australia

Riding for refugees

A Japanese tourist is travelling 3,000km across Australia on a scooter to raise money for refugees.

Uni, a young Japanese traveller, is riding a kick scooter from Melbourne to Cairns, wearing a traditional Japanese kasa and carrying nothing but a backpack, to raise money for refugees.

Uni started his trip in late January and is now over halfway through his east coast adventure.

He has overcome a number of challenges along the way. After walking along a beach on NSW’s North Coast for three days, he ran out of water with no shops in sight. At other times, he was stranded due to torrential rain and floods. 

However, the memorable stops far outweigh the hardships. Uni is grateful to the strangers who have opened their homes to him and the connections he has made. 

“The most memorable place is Seymour. It was the first time someone invited me to stay at their house,” he said. 

“I couldn’t have any conversation with him because I didn’t know any English. But we somehow built a connection. I didn’t know any words to express my feeling and appreciation when I left his place. I could only say ‘remember forever’ but he started crying and so did I.”  

Uni in front of Big Banana
© Supplied
Uni stops at The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour during his 3,000km journey from Melbourne to Cairns. © Supplied

In Port Macquarie, Uni met a Ukrainian family who fled the war in Ukraine and found safety in Australia. After hearing about their story, he was inspired to raise money for refugees. 

“I learnt about what it is like to be forced to flee your home. It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear,” he said. 

“The family told me that they had no choice but to leave the country because of the war. Their father was shot and is in the hospital. I actually talked to him on a video call and it really made me think.”

If you would like to support Uni and help him raise funds for refugees, you can donate here or follow his journey on Instagram.  

Has Uni’s adventure inspired you? 

Why not challenge yourself to run for refugees? Here are some of the upcoming running events you can participate in this year. 

Run Melbourne
Date: 16 July 2023
Sign up with Team UNHCR 

Date: 13 August 2023 
Sign up with Team UNHCR  

Sydney Marathon
Date: 17 September 2023
Sign up with Team UNHCR 

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