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Thank you to everyone who joined us in Miles4Malawi!

At the start of April 2021, we launched our first-ever three-month virtual sponsored walking campaign, Miles 4 Malawi. Working with the World of Walking, a charitable organisation that helped us create an interactive route map, our walkers attempted to tackle the 12,361 km distance between Harrogate and Blantyre.

Our goal was to raise £1 per km (£12,361) in total over the duration of the campaign to fund essential food and medical costs for Mangochi Infant Home for at least 6 months. While we did not achieve our fundraising target, our supporters raised £2,817.61 in total in this first-time campaign, and we are so grateful for the efforts and dedication of everyone who participated!

 While this year’s campaign has come to a close, the good news is that we will be launching this campaign again next year. So if you missed out this time, join us next time as it becomes a feature of our Open Arms calendar! Email us at hello@openarmsmalawi.org to let us know you’d like to participate or to find out more. There are opportunities to join as an individual, a group (such as a school classroom or organisation), or to walk with a wider Open Arms ‘team’.

We thoroughly enjoyed receiving updates from our walkers with pictures and news about their journeys. Thank you to everyone who kept us updated throughout! Individuals taking part in the ‘Open Arms Group’ kept in touch via the World of Walking website group chat, and it was a pleasure to see the progress being made as we navigated our way through the UK, Europe and Africa.

One of our supporters, Antony, told us why he was taking part in the Miles 4 Malawi campaign: "he and his wife, Janet, have friends in Malawi, and visited Zomba and Mangochi in 2013, where they saw the need for initiatives like Open Arms Malawi. Antony, who is 72, is walking every day around his home in Brixworth and nearby Pitsford reservoir, and openly admits one reason for walking is that he needs to get fitter.... By 23rd April, Antony clocked up over 250 km, and was virtually approaching Oxford. To date, Antony has raised £480, but is hopeful of much more, once his sceptical family and friends appreciate that he will keep going, and will also be walking further as he gets fitter, and donate accordingly."

Antony Near Reservoir Med Res

We were also joined by Action for Muona, a University of St Andrews-led student charity who participated in Miles4Malawi in partnership with us as they fundraised through Just Giving. They sent in some lovely pictures of their walks around the Scottish countryside and they friends they made along the way!

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Adjibidji clocked 144,525 steps when she sent in her update and said: “I decided to join solo because it has helped me to push myself harder than I usually do. Currently I have managed to complete 1% but I hope to do better in the coming days, and my target is to be the first solo walker to make it to 100%. I was looking for a place where I could volunteer when I found out about the walk, so I joined because this is a way for me to help raise funds even when I am not there physically. At the end of this walk, a lot of children will benefit and even I will too - on a physical, health and mental level by being active”.

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This year, participants were encouraged to share the milestones that were created for them as they were reached along the way. In celebration of Open Arms’ 20 year anniversary, we created milestones that shared a bit about the story of Open Arms, as well as current events from Malawi in those years. 

New shoes

For those who joined our campaign this year, we hope you enjoyed your walk from Harrogate to Blantyre, learning more about Open Arms and Malawi over the years. We are certain that Malawi will continue to change, develop and grow as it faces the same global uncertainties that we all do, though we are also confident that the resilience, warmth, fortitude and promise of hope that shines brightly throughout the country will resonate long into its future. While it is our express wish that the need for organisations like ours should ultimately not exist, we recognise that, for now, there is still a place for us to help vulnerable children and their wider communities. Until that time that we are no longer needed, we hope you will join us in continuing to walk alongside the lives of those that pass through our doors by supporting us, sharing our work, celebrating the lives of these children, and helping to make a difference.

 Thank you for walking with Open Arms – we would not be able to do what we do without you, and we are grateful to have you on this journey with us. Until next year!

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