What is the Walk about?

For 27 years, Terre des Hommes Suisse has organised a charity walk, taking place along Geneva’s Quai du Mont-Blanc on one Sunday of October, «La Marche de l’espoir». Each year, nearly 5’000 children participate, usually accompanied by their families, this makes the Marche de l’espoir the greatest solidarity event of this kind in Switzerland. Altogether, an estimated 12,000 people assemble by the lakeside, driven by 500 volunteers.

How does it work? 
It’s all very simple: beforehand, each participant looks for sponsors who agree to contribute a certain sum of money for each kilometre walked. On the day of the event, walkers are given a ‘passport’ to serve as proof, it is stamped at the checkpoints set up every kilometre.

After the event the money that has been pledged is collected from the sponsors and sent to Terre des Hommes Suisse. It is used to fi nance development programmes that help improve the living conditions of underprivileged children and their families in a specifi c region of the world.

Raising awareness as well as funds 
More than a solidarity action, «La Marche de l’espoir» also has an important educational function for the schoolchildren of Geneva and the neighbouring areas of France. From the start of the school term, trained representatives of Terre des Hommes Suisse visit classes to present topics related to children’s rights and Southern countries. Teaching materials are provided to later reinforce what was learnt during the presentation. Every year, nearly 30,000 students become aware of the realities of life in the developing world and acquire a sense of empathy and solidarity. 

A great celebration of solidarity 
On the morning of the walk, people start gathering by the lakeside. The Mayor of Geneva officially opens the event at 11 A.M, in the presence of the media. Throughout the day, families can enjoy the food and entertainment - such as music, folk dancing or children’s face painting - available on the many stands and tents installed along the road. The wonderful atmosphere of happiness and solidarity of «La Marche de l’espoir» is something that has to be experienced at least once!