Truce walk kicks off in Derry

Maxim Laithwaite who started his marathon trek for global peace in Derry yesterday.
Maxim Laithwaite who started his marathon trek for global peace in Derry yesterday.

A ‘social explorer’ walking 1,200 miles for global peace started his marathon trek in Derry this week.

To mark the three-month countdown to Peace One Day’s Global Truce 2012 on September 21, “contemporary pilgrim”, Maxim Laithwaite, will be walking through Britain and Ireland, relying on the kindness of strangers for food and shelter.

He started his trek yesterday at the opening concert of the London 2012 Festival in Derry.

Maxim will be walking through each of the five capital cities, finishing at Wembley Arena in London for the Peace One Day concert on 21 September.

This is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace - the day that will see the largest reduction in violence the world has ever seen and the largest gathering of people in the name of peace.

The walk, he says, is also a celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the epic 8,000-mile walk that Satish Kumar began in 1962.

“The success of the journey relies on the same human spirit that will make Global Truce 2012 a success,” he says. “By placing success in the hands of the communities and people along the route, I hope to highlight that we have what it takes to make peace work.”

The walk is inspired by Peace One Day. Founded by Jeremy Gilley, the organisation is responsible for gaining unanimous approval at the United Nations to set September 21 each year as an International Day of Peace.

Maxim firmly believes that the vision of starting with a single day is a monumentally inspiring idea.

“Peace is not the final destination. Peace is the journey, and it begins with the first step.”

He will be updating his blog and using Facebook and Twitter to keep in contact throughout the journey.