An Inspire-ing story
This year, the Camino4Inspire fundraising project is sending off two groups of Maltese people for a week-long, 100-kilometre pilgrimage along the famous Spanish route known as “El Camino De Santiago”, which means “The Way of Saint James”. A person with disability will be accompanying each of the two groups.
Inspire, the Maltese NGO, has for 22 years supported people with intellectual disabilities. Each year, slowly but steadily, it is challenged to raise small amounts of money towards an aggregate of €2 million. This money is then used to pay tutors and therepeutic specialists to assist over 300 intellectually disabled persons go about their life at their individual pace.
di-ve.com met up with Moira Ferry and her step-daughter Philippa Rizzo, one of the individuals with a disability who is bravely carrying out the ability challenge.
Moira said she has always been very keen on walking the Camino De Santiago as a pilgrimage so when the opportunity arose to do that, it was “the perfect thing for her”, as it was for Inspire, which Philippa is part of, so the two “combined perfectly together”.
During the Camino De Santiago pilgrimage, it is often advised to move slowly. “After the first three or four kilometres on the first day of training, I thought it wouldn’t work out as I knew it would be a bit tough for Philippa,” said Moira, but event organiser Mario Scerri explained that it was the ideal venue for the two of them to do it together since they don’t have to walk at each other’s pace. Everyone walks at their own pace and they will all eventually end up at the Cathedral, Mr Scerri said. Pilgrims walk with other pilgrims who walk at the same speed and almost by default, this creates kindred souls.
Moira said: “I feel that the point about walking with others who go about their own speed relates precisely to my step-daughter Philippa’s needs and wishes. She loves to do everything other people do... but invariably develops the closest relationships with those who understand and accept to walk at her pace.”
Inspire has set out to assign a “buddy” for Philippa who will help her and walk at her pace.At the end of the day, Philippa and Moira will eat and sleep together and the next morning they will wake up and set off at their own paces again. Moira explained that Philippa has from sunrise to sunset to walk the day’s length, a maximum of 24 kilometres, which gives her plenty of time to complete the walk.
Moira thanked the team she is walking with, which has shown a great feeling of solidarity. She was surprised how during training, people she did not really know before all walked at Philippa’s pace to work as a team during training.
Philippa is “very excited” for the walk on September 11 and is walking daily to prepare for the challenge. She added that she is not scared of the challenging walk.
Inspire calls for widespread support of all fundraising events being organised over the next few months as part of Camino4Inspire.