15-year-old Filipino teener Kyle Baleva is walking for the fourth time to help orphaned Filipino children back home. He is traversing the cities of Elst, Wijchen, Groesbeek and Cuijk in the western part of the Netherlands through the Four-Day Nijmegen Marches on this exceptionally rainy week in the country. His goal: to raise much needed funds for the Children’s Rehabilitation Center’s (CRC) “A Hand for an Orphan” program.
Walk of the World
The four-day marches, also known as “Walk of the World” is on its 96th run this year. It is held annually participated in by about 45,000 hikers. Participants walk a distance of 30, 40 or 50 kilometers every day. Many hikers — individually or in groups — commit to this march to raise money for charity.
Kyle is walking the distance of 40 kilometers per day this year or a total of 160 kilometers in four days. A change from the previous years where he used to join the 30 kilometers per day distance. He covers 5 kilometers per hour per day totaling to a walk of 8 hours every day. He wakes up around 4 or 5 a.m. every day to complete his walk along with father Boyen. While the weather has not been very friendly for this cause, Kyle gets his much needed boost from family and friends who continue to send their words of encouragements through social media and private messages.
According to mother Angie, “Kyle trained hard for this walk. As he turned 15 last year, he took the challenge of taking the normal adult distance in this year’s walk. He trained hard for this, also hoping to get more sponsors for the orphans back home (in the Philippines).”
Healing orphaned children
CRC’s “A Hand for an Orphan” program supports children who were orphaned because their parents have disappeared or died due to various human rights violations. Aside from giving psycho-social support to children and their families to help them overcome the trauma they have experienced, the CRC also visit different far-flung areas of the Philippines where there are intensive military operations and high incidences of human rights violations.
The amount collected through Kyle’s Walk in the previous years provided educational and nutritional allowances to six orphans for one year (2009), a peace camp for 40 orphans (2010) and support for basic needs of young orphans and a peace camp for 100 participants (2011).
Angie maintained that they collected more than 1000 euros in 2009, about 2000 euros in 2010 and more than 3000 euros last year. This year, they expect to receive about 1500 euros.
Sponsorship is encouraged until mid-August when the Baleva family expects to send the money to the CRC. They maintain a website where sponsorship details and daily reports of Kyle’s Walk is made available. His route can also be followed through this website (fill-in his participant’s number 40G461 in the field that says loopnummer van deelnemer and click on wandelaar zoeken).