The NZP+ in Southern Province Livingstone chapter is walking from Lusaka to Livingstone, a journey of 450 kilometers that should take them 21 days.
The team, comprising two females and seven males, arrived in Choma last Wednesday (25 April 2012) and were welcomed by District AIDS Task Force (DATF) stakeholders and government ministries.
The group came up with the idea of walking such a long distance in order to raise 200 million Kwacha (around 38, 000 US dollars) for the construction of a drop-in centre in Livingstone to be used to support disclosure especially to children and to empower parents with information. The drop in centre will also be used for profitable activities to enable NZP+ to become self-sustaining so that it is not forced to beg for funds every now and then.
The walkers hope to raise the funds from car washes and donations from well-wishers. They will also be raising awareness on the risks associated with HIV and provide people, especially those living with or at high risk of HIV, with messages on behavioural change.
One of the team members is an 18-year-old boy by the name of Enock Musonda from Kitwe who previously walked from Kitwe to Lusaka with his team from Beautiful Gates Zambia. The purpose of this group’s walk was to raise funds for abused children as well as women and men who are victims of gender based violence.
NZP+ is fortunate to have Zambezi FM radio journalist Patrick Kasoka in the team and so were able to send and receive live updates via Zambezi Radio Livingstone. The team was also equipped with walking gear from safari company Bush Track Africa in Livingstone to make their walk as comfortable as possible as Mr Ernest Pumulo, one of the walkers, is an employee.
The walk from Lusaka to Choma took 12 days, after which the team had a two day break. While n Choma the DATF office has organised for the group to visit support groups, ART centres and HBCs. The walk then continued last Friday (27 April, 2012). The Team hopes to arrive in Livingstone by 4 May.
The walkers are planning another expedition next year to cycle from Kasama to Livingstone and the funds raised will be donated to a charity of their choice.
The most impressive thing I loved about this team was their passion for health issues. They not only gave messages but also went a step further by identifying chronically and critically ill patients then reporting them to the relevant authorities for further diagnosis. Among the cases they reported were three cancer patients, in Sinazongwe, Maamba and Choma respectively.
You can sponsor the walkers by contacting them through their Twitter page@walk450km.