UK and Italian Soroptimists walked their local sections of the Via Francigena to celebrate international friendship and International Women’s Day. The ancient pilgrims route goes between Canterbury and Rome.
Soroptimists from clubs in Canterbury, Croydon and Folkestone walked the first stage, 17.2k, from Canterbury to Shepherdswell. At the same time soroptimists from Lecce, Aosta and Siena in Italy were walking part of the route near to where they live.
The Via Francigena supports: SDG 1, reducing poverty by establishing tourism SDG 3, walking and friendship promote good health SDG 8, employment is created by the provision of accommodation and services along the Via SDG 11, pilgrims’ routes build sustainable communities SDG 15, the Via promotes a sustainable environment SDG 17, the walk is a partnership of Soroptimists in two federations.
"The walkers saw parts of their locality which had previously been unknown to them. We made new friendships and links across the region. We exchanged photos and phone calls with our Soroptimist sisters in SI Europe" says Carol Reed, Secretary of Soroptimist International Canterbury.