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CAFOD men walk in solidarity with earthquake victims

Moved by the suffering from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, a group of men from Bury St Edmunds organised a 20-mile sponsored walk along the Suffolk coastline.

The powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck on the morning of February 6 near Turkey’s border with northern Syria. This was yet another tragedy for the people of Syria who have suffered from 12 years of war. Currently 15.3 million people across Syria, 70 per cent of Syria’s population, need humanitarian assistance.

Speaking about the walk on Sunday March 12, Chris Turner, from St Edmund’s parish said: “We felt called to help in some way after the devastating earthquake in Turkey. You can feel so helpless watching disasters like this play out on TV and this was our way of responding. We were a mixed group of people from teachers to doctors. I will be planning another walk for the summer for CAFOD. I have really enjoyed working with CAFOD to raise almost £1300 including gift aid.”

Tyler Axton added: “After the fierce weather of the previous days, I was a little apprehensive about the walk. Thankfully the sun seemed to know what we had planned and gave us a glorious start in Southwold. I couldn’t have asked for nicer company and conversation along the way. How lucky we are to enjoy pleasant countryside without any fear of danger, a stark contrast to the situation in Turkey and Syria.”

CAFOD’s local partners have been responding to the crisis by rebuilding and repairing schools and houses, supporting income generating activities to help people restart their businesses, providing emergency food, water and shelter and providing cash assistance for people to provide for their needs.

Additionally, they’ve created child friendly spaces and psychosocial support to help people deal with the trauma of war. Further information about the current situation is available on CAFOD’s website. Jane Crone from CAFOD in East Anglia thanked the group for their fundraising and for sharing their thoughts.

In the words of one of the walkers, Andrea Pirovano: “Our action was like a drop compared to the amount of work that needs to be done for those lands to rise again, but every drop contributes to creating an ocean.”

Jane added: “CAFOD supporters across the country are taking part in our Big Lent Walk to raise money for CAFOD. If you’d like to join in it’s not too late. We’ve a ‘Walk to Easter’ from Palm Sunday to Easter Day, walking 5km a day during Holy Week a total of 40 km. For more information see  Join the Walk to Easter (

Pictured above are the Suffolk walkers at Southwold.