Dear Mumbler,

In February 2007 I signed up to do some voluntary work with Oxfam Japan, a relatively young branch of the UK based charity Oxfam International that carries out vital relief and development projects in many of the world’s poorest countries. Through my work there, I came to hear about Oxfam Trailwalker 2007, a 100km hike across some pretty tough terrain in southern Japan, the goal being the legendary Mt. Fuji, a couple of hours west of Tokyo. This challenge has to be completed in teams of 4, within 48 hours.

I saw that this was not only a great opportunity to help bring relief to many communities devastated by natural and man-made disasters, but was also a way to make the most out of my limited time in Japan as a student, by providing countless opportunities to put my Japanese language skills to use (I thought I’d opt for English with this email though!).

Myself, 3 other students from Sheffield University, my good mate Tom, my girlfriend’s father Takashi and two other Japanese acquaintances have formed two teams – “The Blisters” and “The Longlegs”. We are now training hard for the event which will be held from 18th – 20th May 2007.

Our collective goal is to raise £2000 for Oxfam. So far we have raised approximately £900, the majority of this having come from our own pockets. We are now asking you, our friends and relatives, if you would consider supporting us in order that we can hit our target. We would be immensely grateful for any donations, no matter how small, and shall in the meantime be doing our absolute best to raise more here in Japan, whilst trying to turn the bottom of our feet into leather.

Donating is very easy, and only takes a couple of minutes. We have a website

which shows all the options available, including credit/debit card payments, Paypal transfers, bank transfers and cheque deposits. If you donate online your donation will have 28% of its value added to it thanks to the Gift Aid tax break.

On our website you can also read about the team members, have a look at a very scary map of the course showing all the mountains we have to cross, and check out our progress on the amazingly professional Donate-o-metre.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this blog, and thank you for your anticipated support. Your donations will have a huge positive impact upon the lives of thousands.

Many thanks,

Joseph and the Trailwalkers

Link: Official Oxfam Japan Trailwalker website