A Man Is Walking Across Africa For Charity – We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB

It’s the last Friday of the month and it’s the aim of We Are The World Blogfest to shine a little light on any darkness in the world or in ourselves by sharing uplifting stories. The blogfest seeks to promote positive news. There are many cases of love and light out there, stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. Sharing these stories increases our awareness of hope in our increasingly dark world.This gathering takes place once a month.

Our special lead co-hosts for this month are: Sylvia Stein, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Inderpreet Kaur Uppal, Damyanti Biswas and Simon Falk.
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Jo Cooper has set off on a trip walking across Africa, starting from Cape Agulhas to Uganda… all to raise funds for education in rural Africa!

 Jo Cooper has been a tour guide for most of his adult life. In 2015 he was guiding people through Uganda when he met a young orphan girl named Stella. She had joined a song and dance troupe to raise money to pay for her schooling. Jo was moved by this and sponsored her school fees.

Since then the idea has grown into a non-profit that helps schools, orphanages and sponsors children to go to school in rural Africa.

“I started a small sponsorship program assist with these children’s schooling. That was the birth of Footsteps Through Africa, and now 20 students (and counting) have been sponsored a place in the local school.”

“Since Footsteps’ inception, we have implemented various initiatives in different locations, from school development, to orphanage support, Random Acts of Kindness, and most recently, a primary school in Malawi.” – Jo Cooper

At the end of April Jo undertook his biggest challenge to date! He started walking across Africa to raise funds towards ‘Footsteps Through Africa’. Jo started the great trek at Cape Agulhas, the Southern tip of Africa.

His end goal is Uganda, he plans to get there within a year and a half. Every 3 to 4 months he will stop to give a tour to a group of people, the funds will go towards the end goal. He also aims to raise R250K!

Jo has already raised R20K using his Backabuddy page

The Journey is 100% independently funded to ensure that all donated money goes straight to the cause.

While walking across Africa, Jo will stay off the beaten track as much as possible. He hopes to meet people from rural villages in need, he can then assess the needs and help accordingly. The trip will be a long one!

A total of 7200km is the undertaking. Jo plans to spend 4000km of it on foot, 900km paddling across the length of Lake Malawi, and the remaining 2300km hitching a ride with fellow travellers and locals alike.

“What we want to avoid, is presuming the needs of people living in these communities. Rather, we want to learn from the local communities, by living with the people here and getting to know them, what would best benefit the people of each particular community and do whatever we can to provide it.”

You can follow the Journey on the Facebook page.


If you like this initiative please help spread the word on social media via the hashtag #WATWB.

Looking for some uplifting stories? Want to be a part of this wonderful initiative?

You can SIGN UP for WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST in the linky list below:


  1. Deborah Weber on July 28, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    What an inspiring commitment! And I’m really impressed by the idea of not assuming one understands what a community needs, but actually connecting with the people. Eighteen months and a tremendous distance – I can only imagine what kind of adventures he’ll have. But what goodness will result from this trek! Thanks for sharing this one.

  2. Emily Bloomquist on July 28, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    What a wonderful journey Jo is taking for a fantastic cause! His idea to ask the people what they need is a step many people forget to take. Thank you for letting us know about it Michelle.

  3. Hilary Melton-Butcher on July 29, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Hi Michelle – love this initiative … “Footsteps Through Africa” .. what a wonderful thing to do – and I’m sure he’ll make the journey and offer hope to others as he walks up through Africa. It’s great he’s engaging as he travels … we can learn so much from people in all walks of life – his knowledge will be greatly increased: good to know he’s not presuming, but will find out what will help … people who set up orphanages, or help educate the rural Africans deserve all the help they can get – good luck to Jo … and thanks for highlighting for us … cheers Hilary

  4. susan scott on July 29, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Truly, SA has extraordinary people – we need reminders of these initiatives. And I agree it’s so important to not assume but to find out first hand from the community if and what their needs are. Thanks Michelle for this inspiring story.

  5. Lynda Dietz on July 29, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    I love this! And I love that he’s taking the time to find out what they need in the various villages, rather than telling them what he thinks they need. So encouraging to know there are still selfless people out there.

  6. L. Diane Wolfe on July 30, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    And he’s basically working his way across the country, too. Bravo!

  7. Damyanti on July 31, 2017 at 12:11 am

    This is such a superhuman, inspiring effort. It is because of individulas like this that humanity still has hope. I went and liked his page so I can follow his journey, and hope to contribute a small donation to his worthy cause!

  8. Lynn Hallbrooks on July 31, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Positive Vibes going out to this man for safe travels and raising the funds he needs to help others. Thanks for sharing this and for being a part of #WATWB

  9. Simon Falk on August 1, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    What a walk he is undertaking. What courage, patience and perseverance he must have. I’ll bet he is collecting some stories along the way. May his steps lighten as he goes. Thanks for sharing, Michelle 🙂 Simon’s Still Stanza #WATWB

  10. Minakshi bajpai on October 7, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Thats really a great deed done by him. Great initiative by him for the welfare of poor and needy people. 18months far away from home was a big challenge for him. But anything done for the sake of something good always gives best results. #WATWB

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