SINGAPORE – After a seven-day walk from Malacca, a team of six boys aged 15-17 and two staff from Boys’ Town arrived back in Singapore on Aug 6.
They made their way to Montfort Secondary School and were joined by over 50 participants from six schools set up by the Brothers of St Gabriel to complete the Singapore leg of the journey.
The 300-km walk commenced at Montfort Youth Centre in Malacca and marked the 300th anniversary of the Brothers of St Gabriel, which set up six schools and Boys’ Town in Singapore.
The group hopes to raise $150,000 for the St Gabriel’s Foundation, which was started in 2001 to take over the running of the institutions here.
Each day, the team would set off at 6 am and walk about 35 km before reaching their destination by 4 pm.
They clocked an average of 10 hours daily, passing through towns such as Muar, Batu Pahat, Pontian and Johor Bahru. In Singapore, they walked 50 km to all seven institutions set up by the Gabrielite Brothers, ending at Boys’ Town.
There was a safety vehicle accompanying the team during the journey, with two support crew members from Boys’ Town who are first-aid certified.
One of them was Mr Joseph Chng, formerly from Boys’ Town, who was in charge of driving the vehicle and providing refreshments such as drinks, light snacks and fruits to energize the team throughout the walk.
The other staff member was Mr Muhd Zaidi, a programme supervisor. On top of treating injuries, he would also help to take videos and photos of the journey to update supporters.
Assumption Pathway School Sec 4 student Jackies Low said: “I am happy and proud to finish this walk. There are a lot of new memories made. We sang songs and told each other jokes so we could forget about the tiredness.
“I took part in this because Boys’ Town has helped me a lot. I used to skip school but now I’ve learnt to have self-discipline and work hard.”
Another participant, a Boys’ Town Alternative Schooling Programme Secondary 3 student said: “Some of my friends had many blisters and were bleeding at their toes. It was hard for me to see them in pain.
“This trip brought us closer and taught me to look out for my friends. When it was difficult, we did not give up and continued to walk together. This is our tribute to the Brothers.”
The Boy’s Town website is www.boystown.org.sg