Afra en Steven participated in every edition of the Refugee Walk22 September 2022 11:58
Afra and Steven are two enormously enthusiastic walkers, with their hearts in the right place. They are walking again this year for the seventh time and with this, they do not skip any edition! We could not let that go unnoticed. In this interview, they tell us how they experienced the past editions and why you should definitely participate.
Why are you walking along with Refugee Walk?
Steven: "It doesn't really matter what you think about migration, border policy and asylum seekers: People should be treated in a humane way. Our country doesn't always deliver on that. By helping raise funds for Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen in this way, we are doing our bit."
What does Refugee Walk mean to you?
"We think it is very important that refugees arriving in our country feel welcome. Me and Steven are part of the non-profit organisation Conscious Crew and try to raise awareness of all kinds of themes. One of our main themes is All People, so that totally fits in with the thinking behind Refugee Walk. It's good to put this on the agenda again through Refugee Walk, especially now! On top of that, it really is an incredibly fun day! The connection among the walkers is really overwhelming." says Afra.
How did you get in touch with Refugee Walk for the first time?
"We had been following Refugee Council Flanders closely for some time and had previously organised fundraising events for the non-profit organisation with the Conscious Crew." says Steven. When we saw that Refugee Council Flanders was organising a sponsored walk, we thought it would be a good way to raise awareness of the issue. It also works, because by walking along yourself and looking for sponsors in your area, you also start talking to people about it.
What was your favourite Refugee Walk? Why?
"For me, it was the 2017 edition! We had gathered a group of more than 20 strollers with the Conscious Crew then. The sun was also shining wonderfully that day, the only edition I walked in shorts I believe. We then walked through the Hoge kempen National Park, so beautiful in that autumn sunshine. And we could also enjoy the delicious buffet at lunchtime. That was really a top edition!" says Afra. "For me, this was also a top edition. In a way, last year was also a top edition. The weather was really bad and after half an hour we were literally soaked through. To walk those 40km together anyway, in those conditions gave me a sense of belonging.... But this year I'd rather have good weather!" Steven continues.
What distance do you usually walk? What distance will you walk this year?
"Anyway 40km. Also this year!"
How do you train for the Refugee Walk? Are there any tips you would like to give to people who will do it for the first time this year?
"We don't train, even though that wouldn't be a bad idea. We have always managed to do it though. Some years a bit better than others, but fortunately those injuries disappear quickly." laughs Afra.
What is your highest amount collected? How did you achieve that?
"At the first corona edition in 2020, we organised a 40km and 10km walk in Antwerp ourselves. We had put a lot of time into that then and fortunately a lot of people walked with us. Then we collected more than 15,000 euros!" says Afra.
Are there any things about Refugee Walk you would like to share? A cool anecdote or event?
"The arrival after the walk is always a bit of a celebration. You can recover there with a drink, watch a performance and have your feet massaged." says Steven gloatingly.
Thank you Afra and Steven for your tireless efforts! Hugely impressive!