Barefoot Billion Launch

Barefoot Billion - British Poet Starts Barefoot 1,000 mile Walk to Raise Awareness and Funds for Vulnerable Street Children. 500 Schools. 200,000 Children in 100 Countries and Leading Celebrities Will Support Record Breaking Project

OceanStars :: Thursday 24th April 2014 :: This Story

Leading Performance Poet, Philip Wells is undertaking an epic 1,000 mile, 2 million step journey, walking barefoot ‘in the footsteps of the bards’ through Cornwall, South West England and Wales.

The walk begins informally at St Michael's Mount on Tuesday April 22nd and is formally launched with a poetry performance at the Minack Theatre, Porthcurno on April 23rd at 3pm.

Ocean Stars Barefoot Billions Philip WellsThe walk will give a ‘Voice to the Voiceless’ by inspiring 200,000 children in 100+ countries from China to Easter Island to "Be the Step" and sponsored walk together, sharing experiences, poetry and art, via social media.

By ‘Being the Step’; the children will be encouraged to help accelerate social change through raising awareness and funding for children all over the world crippled by poverty and preventable deprivation.

As he walks between England and Wales's most historic and literary landmarks including Jesus's Well at St Enodoc and Glastonbury Tor,  Philip will deliver passionate performance poetry at schools, pubs and prestigious venues along the way. He will also seek the help of fellow-walkers ranging from musicians and poets, to painters and leading celebrities. With their help, he will be uncovering Britain's forgotten history and engaging with literary geniuses to reconnect our modern life with our ancient ancestors.

This international education project examines why history and poetry matters to children in all circumstances.

Sharing the the magic and mystery of Britain's history, Philip will support an international vision of eliminating poverty for children around the world by 2030.

The ‘Barefoot Billion’  represents what UNICEF estimates to be over a billion children who suffer from at least one form of severe deprivation. Philip will be walking barefoot to highlight the vulnerability of those walking through life without adequate nutrition, water, sanitation, health, shelter, light or education. His 2 million record-breaking steps 'in the spirit of the bards' will spark a global children's walk that will give the world's most vulnerable children real hope.

Philip will perform poetry in schools, abbeys and town halls, collaborating with musicians, rappers, painters, bards and celebrities including Virginia McKenna and Bettany Hughes.

Inspirational messages are pouring in from participating children around the world:

"Hope for the children living in poverty.
Opposite of what we are living in.
Poetry will help them find a voice!
Education needs to come to them."
           by Alicia, 9.  Penang, Malaysia

All funds raised benefit three charities focused on positive change for children most in need: The Consortium for Street Children, Born Free’s Global Friends Project and Ocean Stars Trust.


The Three Featured Charities

1. Consortium for Street Children
CSC is the only global network focussed exclusively on supporting street connected children. Whether that be children living on the streets, working on the streets or simply those who just hang out on the streets. CSC’s focus is empowering these children and helping them to help themselves. They currently comprise some 50 organisations from around the world working in over 100 countries.  Street children deserve to have their specific needs, wants and rights understood and to be represented at the highest level.  This is what CSC seeks to do.

2. Ocean Stars Trust
Ocean Stars Trust (OST) was established in 2005 following the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004. Their vision is to relieve suffering among disadvantaged people in Sri Lanka by providing them with the necessary skills to rebuild their shattered lives whether following natural disasters or with the aftermath of civil conflict. OST supports a wide range of projects across Sri Lanka and has a special interest in child education, especially that of pre-school children, where there is little government support in the country.

3. Born Free’s Global Friends
The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity working in some of the most remote regions in Africa and Asia, areas which are also home to some of the poorest communities in the world. Born Free believe there is an intrinsic link between poverty and the environment and they understand the important part that local communities play in supporting the environment. Recently Born Free have launched Born Free’s Global Friends where they aim to support the local community that lives alongside the wildlife. They believe the children are a huge part if this. By educating children in these poor areas they will not only substantially improve the children’s lives but also ensure they grow up with a greater respect for their natural environment.