The Marche de l'espoir, the largest solidarity event in Switzerland involving children
For 30 years, Terre des Hommes Suisse has been organising the Marche de l’espoir on a Sunday in October on the Quai du Mont-Blanc in Geneva. It is the largest solidarity event of its kind in Switzerland involving children. It mobilises every year nearly 4000 children and young people, accompanied by their families.
Each year, a country of action of Terre des Hommes Suisse is honoured. The funds raised during this day are dedicated to projects for the defence of children’s rights in this country.
In total, more than 12,000 people come together for one day, and walk in favour of children’s rights, in a family and festive atmosphere. The event is organised with the help of almost 500 volunteers.
Walking and fundraising for children's rights
The principle is simple: each participant looks for sponsors who commit to paying a certain amount of money for each kilometre walked. On the day of the Walk, they receive a stamp on their “Walk passport” at each kilometre stand. They then collect the promised amount from their sponsors and sends it to Terre des Hommes Suisse. The money collected this way makes it possible to finance programmes for vulnerable children and their families in a particular region of the world.
Nearly 32,000 children made aware of the issue each year
More than an act of solidarity, the Walk is part of an important awareness-raising effort among students in the canton of Geneva and the French border region. From the beginning of the school year, animators trained by our team visit the classes to present a country where Terre des Hommes Suisse is active and to discuss a theme related to children’s rights. An educational sheet is also distributed to each teacher so that they can explore the theme in question with their pupils. In total, nearly 32,000 pupils are thus made aware of the realities of life in developing countries and of solidarity.
The Walk: a great celebration of solidarity!
On the big day, in the morning, the quay comes alive. The start is given at 11 a.m. by the Mayor of the City of Geneva, in the presence of the media. All day long, families can eat and be entertained in the tents located along the route and under the big top, where various activities are proposed: traditional music and dance groups, typical dishes from the country supported, face painting. You need to have experienced this day at least once to feel the joy and solidarity that surround this great multicultural festival!
The route of the Marche de l'espoir
The Marche de l’espoir takes place along the Quai du Mont-Blanc. The start is at 11:00 am at the Rotunda of the Mont-Blanc bridge.
The route then follows a loop along the quay to the botanical garden and back to the Rotonde. Participants can do this 6km loop as many times as they wish during the day.