First of all for those who aren’t aware of Southampton Hitch, could you tell us a bit about the event and why people should get involved?
Hitch is an annual charity hitch-hike across Europe, which has been running for 24 years. It runs over Easter and you’re free to set off whenever you want between mid-March and mid-April. The aim is to hitch-hike to either Morocco or Croatia which takes about a week, then you’re free to do whatever you want once you get to your destination whether that’s stay and have a bit of a holiday amongst other Hitchers or fly straight back home!
It’s a great way to do something a little different over the Easter holidays, you get to have the adventure of a lifetime, meet incredible people, and hear amazing stories which will stay with you for years to come.
Hitch has been called a ‘gap year in two weeks’ due to the experiences past participants have had – do you have any examples of what people got up to at the last event in 2014?
Being a rep for Hitch I’ve got to hear about some amazing and really varied stories of the Hitch experience. It seems that a lot of people are still in touch with people who offered them lifts whilst on their journey. I did my Hitch in 2013 and am still in touch with a French couple who not only gave us a lift but also gave us dinner, breakfast, a place to stay for the night and a lift the next morning to the nearest motorway toll booth half an hour away.
Other stories include a class of 20 French children standing next to a group with their thumbs out to bring attention to them and also a Spanish rugby team who paid for a group to stay in the same 3* hotel, paid for their meals, and got them tickets to see the match the next day! Another story which I’m a little jealous of is a message that Hitch HQ received from a group last year who were sleeping under the stars in the ruins of a castle in Morocco with a load of other travellers. There are so many more fantastic stories, it took forever to collect them all and choose my favourites!
Of course this is all for charity as you’re raising money for Link
Community Development International. Could you tell us about the
organisation’s work and why Southampton Hitch is supporting it?
Link Community Development is a fantastic charity which works to improve education in Sub-Saharan Africa – namely Uganda, Ghana, Ethiopia and Malawi. They work with all levels of authority involved in education – the government, local authorities, the community, the parents and the staff and children themselves to improve everything from the curriculum and resources to facilities.
Their work currently involves everything from helping to create a national curriculum, and training teachers to providing a clean and safe toilet block. At the moment, many areas of these countries are really struggling to cope after free primary education was introduced a few years ago, before the schools and education system was really prepared for it. Because of the current state of affairs, only 50% of those who start primary school will actually finish it. What’s more is that only 50% of those will go on to secondary school. Obviously it cannot go on like this, and Link believes that providing a qualitsy basic education to children will really give them the best possible start in life.
If people want to get involved, what’s the best way to go about doing so?
Anyone who wants to take part should head over and
like our Facebook page ‘Southampton Hitch 2016’ to keep up to date
with all the latest information including when the next briefing meeting is. There they will also find the link to the registration site. Registration is
only £15, so for the price of 4 Jesticles they can have an amazing two
weeks and get to take away some incredible stories!