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European Philanthropists Walk 7,000 Km to Raise Funds for Needy Vietnamese Kids

Two European philanthropists walked 7,000 kilometres from their continent to Asia in order to raise funds for Vietnamese children in need. Simon Niggli from Switzerland and Christoph Obmascher from Austria began their long and extraordinary adventure in January 18, 2015 and have already travelled through 19 countries.

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Their journey is a personal mission to help poor children in Vietnam when Niggli first arrived in the country in 1999 and witnessed the dire situation of many Vietnamese, especially children. Through World Vision International’s sponsorship program, he then sponsored a child in Lang Chanh District long enough until the child grew up in 2012 and no longer qualified for the program. He sponsored another child named Le Xuan Khang who he visited a few weeks ago when he came to the country. Obmascher sponsored a child named Phang A Tua in 2014 who lives in Tam Trau.

World Vision International is a relief and developmental organization which has the mission to improve the quality of life of people, especially children, who are living in poverty. It started operating in Vietnam 1988 by distributing relief goods during emergency situations. It opened an office in Hanoi in 1990. The philanthropists’ sponsorship is part of the organization’s Area Development Program which started in the country 15 years ago. Today, there are 40 Area Development Programs and 16 special projects in 15 provinces throughout the country. Last year, it raised US$26 million and were able to help three million Vietnamese children through their humanitarian efforts.

Niggli and Obmascher walked through many countries across their continent to China. From there, they rode in trains and buses and travelled to Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Thailand and Vietnam. It took them two years to prepare for the trip, beginning by quitting their jobs to focus on their mission. They researched which roads are suitable for walking, the weather conditions and possible sponsors from their home countries. Their remarkable journey has been aired in the national television channels in both Switzerland and Austria.

Niggli and Obmascher gains motivation from the people and places they meet and see along the way, inspired by the beauty of the world despite the hardships some countries face. Through their journey, they realized that “the poorer people are, the more generous they become.” It is their prayer and mission that people from all over the globe will learn from this and share their blessings to the less privileged, especially the children who are the hope of any nation.


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