Three Greeks decide to travel on foot a distance of 12.264 kilometres from Athens to Vladivostok over a period of a global financial crisis aiming at sending the message of the absolute need for solidarity among nations.
The global economic recession has led to complete degeneration of human relations and this more apparent in the relations among peoples of different nationalities.
When was the last time that we were interested in our fellows who suffer in the most direct way the economic crisis?
When in the past were we so indifferent towards the human crisis?
When in the past were we so indifferent for our fellows who suffer from diseases, regardless their nationality?
Three Greeks decide to break the borders and cover on foot a distance of 12.264 km from Athens to Vladivostok within a year, trying through their great and unprecedented effort to send a message of solidarity and humanitarianism among nations.
Christos Kontis, Panagiotis Vouros and Konstantinos Gοgos depart from Athens (Ag. Anargiri / central square) having Vladivostok as their destination and their steps as their vehicle.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PARTICIPANTS:
To cover on foot a distance of 12.264 km within a year (average 33,6 km daily) overcoming obstacles and achieving the impossible.
Walking in Greece, the country of civilization and the sea, FYROM with lake Ohrid, Serbia the wounded crossroad of Central Europe, Hungary with the storied Danube, Slovakia with the "small Vienna" Bratislava, Austria of the Alpes, Czech Republic with the "golden" town of Prague, Poland with its plains, Belarus with its fur and robots, Russia the most immense expanse of the planet with the old lake Baikal, the powerful and populous China, the three men end up in Vladivostok and the Pacific Ocean and they unite the willing of nations reaching their limits.
Christos Kontis and Panagiotis Vouros will walk the whole distance while Konstantinos Gοgos will escort them by driving a motorhome and will be responsible for any emergency that may occur as well as the communication with the audience globally.
The participants kindly ask from the global community, which has never stopped at these hard times to support dignity and offer help to those in need, through www.indiegoogo.com, to contribute to their effort.
How we came up with the idea?
The global economic crisis which is a phenomenon mainly of the last decade also afflicted Greece, the country of our departure and origin.
Since 2010 this small country of the European Union has suffered a series of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and overwhelming financial measures for all the social classes. Over the last six years a lot of governments have changed promising false changes and reforms which would lead the country out of this situation.
The situation instead of getting better is getting worse making the survival of the citizens really hard. The main goal of this proud nation has become the constant effort for survival in an environment of crisis and subservience. Poverty, unemployment, the economic deadlock and the resulting psychological pressure are reasons that are testing the resistance of democracy as well as cohesion within the European Union.
Among the problems that Greece faces it is also called to handle the issue of refugees - immigrants which since the second semester of 2015 has become more intense in Europe. Given the fact that our country is the last border of the European Union, it is the only entrance of refugees -immigrants to Europe, the "Promised Land" for them. The influx of refugges - immigrants takes place primarily from our neighbouring country, Turkey, usually with the "contribution" of "smugglers" of the human soul and hope. They disembark precariously from small boats on Greek islands by the coast of Turkey.
Usually their first stop is the island of Lesvos which is very close to the Turkish coast. Syrians among other refugees who try to escape their war torn countries form hordes of desperate people when they step in Greece , "the country of freedom".
By the end of January 2016 about 2.500 refugees - immigrants arrived daily in Lesvos and even more were waiting for Athens from which they would depart for other European countries.
The greek coast Guard has managed with great effort to rescue hundreds of people at risk.
Pictures and videos that through newspapers and television travel around the world show human corpses of every age in the Aegean sea which meant to be their last destination in their effort for a better future in a wealthy European country. Many of those who survived are in hospital on Mytilene with frostbites on their feet, hypothermical shocks and other diseases. This is not of course a coincidental fact. It is because of their long stay in the cold mountains of Turkey and the fact that they travel for long hours in boats with their feet exposed to the cold water of the sea.
Quite recently, at Christmas 2015, the famous actress Susan Sarandon visited the island of Lesvos in order to be next to the refugees - immigrants. It should be stressed that there was worldwide interest for the visit of the popular star. This visit became even more important after her statements : «...It's obvious to me that Greece has taken on the biggest burden and I don't think that's fair. I hope there will be a way for effective collaboration with other countries...». She made this statement at the stadium of hockey which temporarily accommodates about 450 refugees.
It should also be noted that the neutral zone of Greece and FYROM remains close for a long time and as a result Greece instead of being a passage is a deadlock since the outflow of refugees - immigrants towards the rest of Europe is impossible. The situation is getting more and more difficult after the unprecedented statement of the Hungarian Prime Minister who suggested the construction of a fence of the borders of Bulgaria and FYROM with Greece.
The few reception centers for refugees - immigrants in our country are not able to cover the basic needs of refugees - immigrants who increase rapidly day by day. The meager financial support of the European Union is not sufficient in the least. The refugee issue gets tragic dimension since thousands of refugees - immigrants unable to find a place in reception centers install themselves under harsh conditions in different parts of Athens. The view of squares, parks, even pavements of the city is distasteful and dangerous both for the refugees - immigrants and the locals. Various infectious diseases as well as the increasing criminality call for the immediate creation of sufficient and contemporary reception centers for refugees - immigrants.
In a recent statement by the head of refugees protection agency of UNHCR, Kalliopi Stephanaki, pointed out: «... Within a few months we will have at least three reception centers on Lesvos, Leros and Kos. It is about the known hot spots...».
However, these three centers are not enough to cover the constant influx of refugees - immigrants in our country.
Therefore, with this particular venture of walking daily and honouring the steps of all these people who did it or not, we aim at:
The creation of more reception centers to save if possible everyone.
We call this need our obligation towards our fellows and we ask from you the minimum financial contribution in order to accomplish a goal of humanity and solidarity.
Without your support we cannot manage it.
However, together we can realize our unique goal: to save dignity be giving at least hope to those people who really need it.
We hope that every step out of the thousands that we are going to make will give a chance to those who dreamt the Promised Land to achieve it.
Our own benefit is the immortality of the human will in the heaven on earth that everyone deserves.
How is it going to be proved that Christos Kontis and Panagiotis Vouros will cover this distance on foot?
It is hard to cover such long distance on foot without the moral and psychological support of friends.
Therefore, we will create a website on which through a real time application the friends of this venture will have the ability to receive immediate information of the location of the hikers at any time.
How it the venture going to be communicated worldwide?
In order to communicate this venture in the most direct way there will be constant updating through audiovisual material on all contemporary social networks hoping that in this way we will sensitize with every step more and more users who will encourage us to continue .
We will upload every two hours audiovisual materials on social networks.
We will upload videos with the best moments of the day, on a daily basis on youtube.
We will publish a daily diary on the website and on the page of the project on Facebook.
We will upload pictures on instagram.
Before the beginning of the venture we will inform the consulates of the countries the participants will cross.
Collaboration with the local authorities of the areas the hikers will cross and interviews with the residents of these areas.
Who are the participants?
Christos Kontis: He was born in 1968 in Larisa and brought up in Athens where he worked as a physiotherapist for more than 20 years and has made his family. His father was in the army and as a result he travelled a lot in Greece. He was distinguished for his historical and geographical knowledge and at the same time he created informative websites. He has been a blood donor for many years.
Panagiotis Vouros: He was born in Athens in 1982 and brought up in Kalamata. He is a lawyer in Athens. He is a graduate of the Law School of Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki and the department of Public Administration of Panteion University of Athens. He has also been a writer.
Konstantinos Gogos: He was born in 1987 in Avlonas Attikis where he was also brought up. His wide knowledge in the field of electronic applications and internet as well as his expertise in these areas can ensure the right communication of the project with the wide audience. He was representative of the students in many committees of the Law School of Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki where he studied and he has been a successful administrator of a known webpage dealing with legal current issues.
It should be mentioned that none of the participants is a professional athlete, a fact which makes this venture even harder.
For us this particular venture is a great risk that we are willing to take in order to fulfill the goals of this project. We hope that you will not overlook our effort and you will support us.
We hope that the money raised will be enough so that the planet will be united in a hug of faith and hope.
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