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Swiss couple reach quarter-mark of five-year charity odyssey

Serge and Nicole Roetheli have covered 10,705km in 18 months

(Keystone)

A Swiss couple on a five-year fund-raising trip around the world are now a quarter of the way through their journey.

Serge and Nicole Roetheli, who are raising money for the Swiss children's charity Terre des Hommes, have covered 10,705km in 18 months, with Serge running the distance on foot and Nicole accompanying him on her motorbike.

The husband and wife team, both from canton Valais, set off from nearby Massongex in February, 2000 and have since crossed France, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique.

At the last update, the couple were travelling through Madagascar, and had reached the southern tip of the island.

Their efforts are being funded by Swiss and European sponsors, as well as by a fan club. At the end of June, the project had raised a total SFr51, 790 for various projects of Terre des Hommes, the largest children's aid organisation in Switzerland.

The trip also gives the duo the chance to send back reports on the plight of the regions visited, with regard to issues from Aids, to epidemics or child trafficking. They are also monitoring the effects of Terre des Hommes projects.

Serge Roetheli, 45, a former mountain guide and Swiss boxing champion, and Nicole remain undaunted by the hardships they have witnessed. The couple say their spirits have soared at the beauties of the African continent, and at the spirit of solidarity and optimism of its people.

swissinfo with agencies


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