Menu

Source: SBS                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A former South Sudanese refugee has walked across New South Wales as part of a campaign to raise money for girls' education in his home country.

Zacharia Mawat Machiek crossed the finish line in Western Sydney yesterday after walking 7 hours a day for 42 days from Tweed Heads.

His journey was part of a project dubbed "Hope Road," which aimed to build a school for disadvantaged girls in South Sudan – a country where two thirds of the population cannot read or write.

"Education is the only way we can have peace," Zacharia said.

"Education is the only way we can accept each other as equal."

A Long Road

As a child Zacharia was separated from his family, fled a civil war, and became a refugee.

He started his journey from Tweed Heads on June 18th with his TAFE teacher, Janet Dyne.

Together the pair walked from town to town, educating schoolkids about the Sudanese conflict.

Zacharia said the grueling schedule was nothing compared to the danger he had faced in South Sudan.

"I walked a long distance from our country to a different country, which is Ethiopia," he recalled. "And since we were doing that it was much danger and a very long way."

Documentary filmmaker Tom Zubrycki is now making a film about Zacharia's journey.

Mr Zubrycki said he admired Zacharia's mission.

"He's very driven; he's very much an idealist," he said.

"And that's what you need for this sort of project."

Go to top