In Syria, 12 years of war have brought about the forced exile of over 13 million citizens. Conflicts in Africa, Latin America and other parts of the world have forced more than 100 million people to flee violence, poverty, a lack of resources to live or climate change in search of a peaceful life and a prosperous future. Europe is a continent marked by paths trodden by millions of people in the past and those who continue to walk them today in order to build societies that are peaceful and respectful of human rights and democratic values.
These paths must remain open for the people who are now knocking on Europe’s door, crying out to be welcomed as they leave Ukraine, and also as a symbol of the enriching power of exchange and the opportunities this offers us to become hospitable cities, villages and regions. Building the future together is only possible if we create a culture of hospitality, solidarity and inclusion that is based on Peace.
The Walking for Peace initiative stems from the legacy left to us by Father Frans van der Lugt, a Jesuit who died in 2014 in the siege of Homs. For the best part of 50 years he lived in Syria, setting up a farm and a community centre a short distance from the city.
Van der Lugt was dearly loved in his community and was well known for his yearly days-long hikes in the mountains alongside youngsters from all walks of life and all faiths. Paths that heralded the defence of humanity, symbolising peace and harmonious coexistence between peoples regardless of their ideologies, religious beliefs, origins or gender. Paths that symbolise a rejection of all kinds of violence, inequality and hostility.
On the 17 June we are holding a joint action on a European level as an act of solidarity with refugees.
How can I join?
We need political measures that guarantee a welcome and protection for forcibly displaced people. Please read our manifesto directed at European Union Members of Parliament.
By donating a small amount you’ll be collaborating with the European network to welcome and accompany refugees and also with the One Proposal project, which supports people affected by the war in Ukraine, in addition to helping us continue creating awareness to achieve fair policies and societies that are more charitable and inclusive.