SOLANA BEACH — On July 28, the inaugural European Peace Walk (EPW), will kick off in Vienna, Austria to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I.
Ruthi Solari, Solana Beach resident and founder and executive director of SuperFood Drive, a San Diego nonprofit committed to changing the face of hunger by empowering and guiding hunger relief organizations, has been chosen as the U.S. ambassador for the walk. More than 100 individuals representing various countries will be making the 550 km (341 miles) journey through six European countries, starting in Vienna and then passing through Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia before ending at the Mediterranean Sea in Trieste, Italy. The walk is also open to the public with participants starting every day for two weeks.
“Being chosen to represent the United States in this international walk is a great privilege,” said Solari. “I hope to come away from this experience learning a great deal that I will be able to bring back to affect change.”
The route, which the walkers will co-create as they go, is being designed to be a permanent walking route for pilgrims, activists and walkers that can be traveled, in the name of peace, for years to come (like the Camino de Santiago in Spain). The EPW, which takes 23 days to complete, visits historic and culturally important landmarks along with stunning natural beauty. The entire route will traverse borders, rewarding the EPW walkers with the unique experience of being able to have breakfast in Hungary, lunch in Slovenia and dinner in Croatia all in the same day.
“With the honor of walking in the inaugural EPW, I want to use this opportunity to raise awareness for what I believe to be integral to promoting peace for the entire world: empowering women,” said Solari. “In my mind, one of the last standing areas for inequality and lack of peace in the world is the oppression of women. For this reason, I am using my involvement in the EPW to raise awareness and funds for an amazing international organization called Women for Women International.”
Women for Women International envisions a world where no one is abused, poor, illiterate or marginalized; where members of communities have full and equal participation in the processes that ensure their health, well-being and economic independence; and where everyone has the freedom to define the scope of their life, their future and strive to achieve their full potential.
“This inspirational organization celebrates leaders like Ruthi Solari for her commitment to women’s empowerment,” said Brita Schmidt, executive director of Women for Women International. “We must work together to inspire women leaders across the globe until all women live in safe, healthy communities with equal access to knowledge and resources. We wish Ruthi luck and express our sincerest gratitude to her for raising awareness and funds for Women for Women International”
To visit Ruthi’s fundraising page, visit justgiving.com/Ruthi-Solari-EPW or to find out more about the European Peace walk, visit peacewalk.eu.