Democratic Republic Of The Congo_Idps-Walk-To Plain-Savo
©UNHCR/Hélène Caux
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“We couldn’t look away from the plight of refugees”

The Clark Team is walking 100km to fundraise for refugees this November.

This November, David and Jill Clark, also known as “The Clark Team”, are walking in solidarity with the millions of vulnerable people who embark on dangerous journeys to find safety.

The couple from Western Australia is taking part in Australia for UNHCR’s annual Stepping with Refugees challenge, raising funds to support people forced to flee. They have set themselves the target of walking 100 kilometres in 30 days and are encouraging their family and friends to sponsor them.

© Supplied
David and Jill Clark are walking 100 kilometres in solidarity with refugees this November.

We spoke to Jill Clark about their motivation for joining the challenge:

Why did you choose to fundraise for refugees?

It’s our first time fundraising for Australia for UNHCR but we’ve always been interested in fundraising for charities.

With our comfortable lifestyle, it is hard to imagine the horror of having to flee from your home. The deprivation and anxiety of living as a refugee is unimaginable. That there are 114 million people now displaced in the world is very motivating.

What is your favourite walk?

David and I do most of our walks along the coast of Warnbro Sound (WA), on the sandy beaches and along a bush path. Each walk is five kilometres long.

I injured myself the other day and immediately treated the wound with first aid. That situation made me think of refugees and the lack of treatment available to them.

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One of the beaches David and Jill Clark walk along.

You’ve set a specific distance target – 100 kilometres. Why did you choose that?

We didn’t want it to be too easy. We want to encourage people by showing them that if we can do it, others can do it too.

You can’t always force your opinions on people. By doing this stepping challenge, I find that we’ve at least helped people think about the plight of refugees.

Do you have any fundraising tips?

Get your friends and family involved. We used word of mouth and wrote to all our friends in the United Kingdom and Australia who we thought might help.

We’ve also involved our whole family. While most of them are in Wales and we don’t get to see them often, they’ve all been really supportive. Our grandchildren are on board with everything, even sponsoring us now that they have their own jobs. I’m actually going to call them again this weekend and follow up on those who haven’t given.

Why do you think Australians should support this cause?

We are in a rich country. Althrough we appreciate that some here are having a hard time now, we couldn't possibly look away from the plight of refugees. We simply cannot ignore it. Every little bit of help counts, and we need to remember that.

Support Stepping with Refugees this November

It’s not too late to send encouragement to your friends, family and colleagues doing the challenge! Please donate to their fundraising efforts here.

Thank you to everyone doing the Stepping with Refugees challenge and to those supporting them.