The totem that marks the end of the Balkan route in Trieste | Photo: ANSA/Luigi Putignano
The totem that marks the end of the Balkan route in Trieste | Photo: ANSA/Luigi Putignano

Several Italian migrant rights organizations have organized a 'walk of hope' in Italy from the Slovenian to the French border to raise awareness for the many challenges migrants and refugees face.

Some 50 athletes will take part in the event across northern Italy as part of the "Il cammino della speranza" (Italian for 'the walk of hope').

From December 14 until December 22, they are set to travel by foot or bike along the roads taken by migrants, over eight legs of the relay race, from the village of Pesek near Trieste, on Italy's northeastern border, to the comune of Oulx near Turin, on Italy's northernwestern border. The event will cover 800 kilometers, from the border with Slovenia to the one with France "where refugees leave our country to reach northern countries," organizers said.

The goal: To raise the public opinion's awareness on the plights faced by migrants and refugees on the Balkan Route and beyond.

Report card to remember drowned migrant boy

The initiative is being organized by the organizations Missionland, Linea d'Ombra Odv, Ente Nazionale Giuseppini del Murialdo, Istituto Sindacale per la cooperazione allo sviluppo, Mamre Torino, the Italian chapter of the Danish Refugee Council and Rainbow4Africa.

The symbol of the campaign is a school report card to remember a 14-year-old Malian student who died in the Mediterranean Sea in 2015 with his report card sewn into his pocket.

"The choice is to remember the report card, with votes on different subject matters written in Arabic and French", organizers said. "It was hidden where you hold your dearest things, folded with care and sewn into his jacket: that report card, preserved with love and pride, perhaps even with the hope that it would show his good intentions, is everything we know about its owner, a 14-year-old boy who died in the Mediterranean without anyone being able to mourn him."


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