Exmouth pair trek for Africa

A former solider has been waging his own battle for North Africa while in training to march 217 miles in under a week for charity.

A former solider has been taking part in his own battle for North Africa while in training to march 217 miles in under a week for charity.

Jim Hunter and Mark Hoole will set off on their journey along the South Coast of Devon and Dorset on Monday to raise money for the Beacon School’s appeal for Africa and aim raise more than �2,000.

And Jim, who was with the Pathfinder Platoon, 5th Airborne Brigade and served in Northern Ireland, Kenya and Malaysia has been preparing by scrambling over dunes in the Sahara desert.

By the time the pair have completed their gruelling trek on Saturday in Poole Harbour, they will have stopped of in Salcombe, Brixham, Exmouth, West Bay and Weymouth.

The pupils have set themselves a target of �5,000 for Christian Aid, which will be match funded by the European Union to a colossal total of �25,000.

Pupils have already raised �2,000 themselves.

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Next week is Christian Aid week and the money will be invested into training and equipping farmers in Burkina Faso to feed their families.

Jim said: “I’ve worked in North Africa and The Sahara for the last 17 years. The people in the poorest communities are just like us, they want the best for their families.

“They want to see their children grow up healthy, strong and well educated. More than anything they want them to grow up without having to rely on handouts and charity. That’s what’s so exciting about this project.”

Mark added: “Jim and I are really proud to be playing our part in this great project. “What’s so exciting about this project is that the money doesn’t just disappear, it’s invested in the farmers’ skills and new techniques so that they can provide for their families and stand on their own feet with dignity.”

If you would like to sponsor Jim and Mark or make a donation to the Beacon Trek, visit www.justgiving.com/walkagainstpoverty or call in to The Beacon School or The Christian Aid Office 35a Parade, Exmouth (next to Iceland).