Mark's Kokoda Trek- Mentoring Youth

Why am I trekking the Kokoda Track?
Hello, my name is Mark Thompson and I have recently volunteered to mentor a young person who is at risk of leaving the mainstream education system and falling into the juvenile justice system.

 My role as a mentor is to walk the Kokoda track in Papua New Guinea together with other mentors and at risk youth. We will be walking the track in September 2016, as part of the Victorian Police Geelong Kokoda Youth Program. The Kokoda track is one of the world’s toughest treks.  It's an 8 day journey, hiking over 100 kilometres  through the mountains and jungles of Papua New Guinea. 

What is the Kokoda Track?
 The Kokoda track is much more than a trekking adventure. The Kododa track is a significant part of Australian history.  The Kokoda Track Campaign was part of the Pacific War of World War II. It consisted of a series of battles fought between July and November 1942 between Japanese and Allied—primarily Australian—forces in what was then the Australian territory of Papua. As we trek, we will walk  in the footsteps of the Australian diggers and Allied soldiers who fought in this campaign, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice. We walk this track to pay our respects and honour them - Lest We Forget

What's involved?
Walking the Kokoda track is not free and to enable a young person to undertake this life changing experience, the police seek the support of the local community. This important and valuable program receives no government funding and relies totally on the good will and support from local business and community. My employer, Bethany Community Support (Geelong's leading Community Service Organisation) has agreed to sponsor a young person in 2016. My mentor role is partially funded by my employer, which means I need to fundraise for the balance of costs in order to undertake the trek in September.

In preparation for the trek, we are required to undertake an intensive four month training schedule as a group, building trust and respect for one another along the way, as well as increasing our fitness levels.  This means that each week, we will walk approximately 100 KM to ensure that when we leave for Kokoda, we are able to undertake the often arduous and physically draining trek. 

 I need your help!
 Bethany is providing me with additional leave to undertake the trek, but I need to raise $4000 to pay for flights, accommodation, equipment, food, etc.

You can help by donating to the cause through this page.  Your donation will help me undertake the training and meet the costs that will enable me to mentor an at risk young person from Geelong.

All donations are greatly appreciated and all money will go directly towards meeting the costs mentioned above.  I am looking forward to the challenges that each of the mentors and youth will face along the way and am grateful of the opportunity to have a positive impact on a young person’s life.

Thank you so much for your generosity –
Mark Thompson


Mark Thompson
Bell Post Hill VIC

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