Stevenage student who fled Uganda to walk barefoot for poverty charity Warchild

Charity walker Caroline Odong

Charity walker Caroline Odong - Credit: Archant

Caroline Odong never wore a pair of shoes until she set foot in the UK, escaping the terror of war in Uganda – now she’s going to ditch her shoes to raise funds for destitute children in Third World countries.

The 29-year-old student from Stevenage was used to walking barefoot for miles from her mud hut home in Gulu, rural Uganda, to fetch water.

Through reliving her walking experience, she now hopes to support Warchild – a charity which provides education, housing and foster care to children in poverty.

Along with a group of 50 family members and friends, she will walk 2½ miles outside St. James’s Park in London, where she first wore a pair of shoes at the age of five.

She came to live in the UK after her family fled the civil war which was raging in Uganda at the time.

Caroline, a former pupil of Stevenage’s Thomas Alleyne Academy who worked as a sales assistant at Stevenage Garden Centre, said: “I hope to reconnect with my youth in Uganda where, due to war and poverty, I and many other children walked barefooted.

“During the civil war in Uganda my family were forced to move to a safer location.

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“This experience as a war child means I feel it is right to raise money for that charity.”

Caroline has a huge extended family of 300 back in Uganda, but her immediate family – father Aquilinus, mother Catherine and three brothers – still live in the town’s Collenswood Road.

A number of her extended family members were unable to afford a pair of shoes until their teenage years, along with the 400 million children worldwide living in extreme poverty – something Caroline hopes to raise awareness of and funds to combat.

Caroline hopes to raise £400 from the event on Sunday, April 19.

If you’d like to support her, visit the website and search ‘Caroline Odong’.