Kyle Baleva, 12, with his father Boyen/Photo courtesy of Loui Galicia, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau
A twelve-year-old Filipino is set to join 45,000 participants in the biggest walkathon in the world held yearly in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Kyle Baleva is now engrossed in psyching up and preparing himself physically for the Walk of the World or the Four-Day Marches that will be held from July 21 to July 24.
Participants from age 12 and above will walk 30, 40 or 50 kilometers daily for four days. On completion, they will receive a “Vierdaagsekruis,” or a royally approved medal.
Kyle is now training his legs, knees and feet to endure the thirty-kilometer or about eight hours of walk per day.
The only obstacles to his successful completion will be the rain, scorching sun and foot blisters.
But nevertheless, Kyle said that he hopes to be able to conquer all the hardship because every step will be definitely worth something.
In fact, the equivalent of every kilometer that Kyle walks is twenty euro cents (14 pesos) for the orphaned children of the victims of political killings or disappearances.
Kyle aims to collect 1,000 euros (70,000 pesos) for the benefit of “A Hand for an Orphan Program” of the Children’s Rehabilitation Center.
“Maganda lang pong challenge. At saka mas marami pong kaya pong makuhang pera para po sa mga orphans kapag mas malayo,” Kyle told Balitang Europe.
Kyle has the full support of his parents, especially his father who accompanies him to his house-to-house calls for sponsorship.
“Proud ako. Proud kami ng asawa kong si Angie na naisip niya yon na pwede siyang maglakad or mag-perform or mag-exert ng maraming effort para sa ibang tao. Kasi para sa isang 12-year-old na bata hindi yon pangkaraniwan,” Boyen said.
Even many Pinoys have been impressed and inspired by Kyle’s goal and humble cause.
“Nakakatuwa naman. Kasi at a very young age, meron na siyang sense of responsibility at saka gusto na niyang tumulong sa mga nangangailangan especially pang Pilipinas. Maganda ang upbringing ng bata,” Pinay supporter Maridee Borja said.
Because there are still two weeks left before the big event, Kyle is tirelessly soliciting help now from his kababayans.
Other interested kababayans can still send support to: Kyle’s Walk of the World, Nederlands Filippijnse Solidariteitsbeweging (NFS), Account no: 8118425, indicating “Sponsor Kyle.”