A refugee from war torn Sri Lanka is set to take part in a 120-mile charity walk, in order to thank the British public, the Armed Forces and to support an orphanage on his native island. Johannes Shanmugam, 48, is walking the distance from Birmingham to London and aiming to raise over £10,000 to support Help for Heroes and Serendip Children’s Home in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.
As a political refugee from Sri Lanka, he chose to support two charities that are close to his heart. Johannes said of his motivations, “Being a Tamil in the island of Sri Lanka, my life was in constant danger during the civil war. The UK has been a sanctuary for so many Tamil people seeking safety from unjust persecution in Sri Lanka. We have experienced the horrors of war and having made the UK our home, we now want to help British troops be rehabilitated, whilst also supporting orphaned children still in Sri Lanka, who are continuing to suffer”.
Walking the equivalent of 4 marathons in just 6 days, Johannes has been training for months and views his walk as just a small show of appreciation to the British public. Said Johannes, “the walk itself is a huge thank you to the British public for the freedom and civil liberties that Tamils have experienced in the UK; this is unfortunately still denied to so many Tamil people in Sri Lanka.”
The 120-mile challenge will start on Wednesday 2nd November at Birmingham Victoria Square and continue through to Coventry, Daventry, Milton Keynes, Luton, St Albans and conclude on Monday the 7th November at Downing Street.
Upon arrival at Downing Street, Johannes will hand deliver a letter for the Prime Minister. Written on behalf of the British-Tamil community, the letter expresses their gratitude towards Britain. This is the second year in a row that Johannes, has set out to fundraise for charity through a marathon walk from Birmingham to London.
“I had such a fantastic response from the British public last year. We raised over £7,000 and strangers even joined me to walk the route and provide accommodation along the way. I am really hoping for their generosity and support again this year.
To sponsor Johannes Shanmugam, please visit: http://www.h2hwalk.org/donate.html