“We are all on a pilgrimage, we all have challenges to overcome. Some are big and some are small, but all are informative in one way or another.”
This is what the veteran runner Christo van der Bergh said in 2021 on the eve of his first Pilgrimage of Hope initiative, during which he ran eight marathons in eight days in aid of Solidarity Helping Hand.
He braved the South African counterpart of the Spanish Camino de Santiago under the banner of Run for Hope, after a long recovery process from a serious knee injury, and raised a hefty R77 000 for Helping Hand’s kindergarten feeding scheme.
In 2022, Christo participated again in Run for Hope in aid of Helping Hand’s projects for the elderly. This route spanned nine mountain passes and, according to him, presented its own challenges.
In August this year, this 50-year-old athlete will tackle eight marathons in eight days for charity for the third time, this time in Namaqualand.
“We don’t always know what challenges the people around us are experiencing. Defenseless elderly people cannot fight for themselves, and some sit in small rooms and are lonely. I’m using my pilgrimage to give exposure to Helping Hand’s mission to look after our elderly,” he previously said of his trek.
Christo recently together with the Solidarity Helping Hand’s Western Cape region and the Run for Hope team the ACVV (formerly as the African Christian Women’s Association known) visit the Strand Service Centre.
According to Alisha de Lange, Helping Hand Western Cape’s regional organiser, the focus in 2022 was specifically on defenseless and lonely elderly people and with their visit they transferred R10 000 of the amount that Christo collected with the 2022 marathons to the service centre.
During this event, she emphasized why the elderly are so important to Helping Hand.
“During our visit to the Strand Service Center the manager of the service center mentioned that they do not receive their grants from the state. There are elderly people who pay R5 or R10 per month off their annual membership fee of R170. Many of them are lonely and live in difficult conditions. This made our region decide to get involved with the service center and it was the ideal place to involve the Run for Hope team,” said Alisha.
- If you want to run or walk a virtual marathon for charity with Christo, visit runforhope.co.za to more information.
Leave a Reply