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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Working for a village

If trekking over 300 kilometres from Melbourne to Albury doesn't grab your attention - then trying doing it and raising over $250,000

MEG PIGRAM November 15, 2012 10:30am

Tania Campbell and Linda Brunning with Daniel Kuzeff at the Vic Hotel.


Imagine walking 316km in seven days — from Melbourne to Albury — and working at a bar for 1500 hours for free.

It doesn’t sound overly idyllic but that’s exactly what 22-year-old border man Daniel Kuzeff is doing as part of an effort to raise $250000 for people living in the slums of the Philippines.

‘‘We have already raised that — people have been amazing,’’ Daniel said.

The idea was developed after Daniel returned home from a trip to the Philippines where he saw people living on the streets and well below the poverty line.

‘‘I have been fortunate to spend a lot of time travelling but I had never been to a Third World country,’’ he said.

‘‘With what I saw, I knew that I could do something to change it.’’

Instead of living the high life with his friends, Daniel, who is studying international business, is living at home with his parents — and when he wants to take time out he floats along the Murray.

‘‘I just don’t think about money that much,’’ he said.

Midway through his journey, Daniel and the team had an overnight stay in Benalla where he praised the community support.

“We are so lucky; the Vic Hotel has given us our meals and accommodation for nothing. Everywhere else we have paid a reduced cost,’’ he said.

‘‘They have just been amazing here.’’

The team walked 47km each day but said the physical challenge was only half of it.

‘‘It’s mentally draining as well,’’ Daniel said.

Instead of pocketing the cash he would have received from working, Daniel will use it to fund a village.

His employer Gavin Grant from Albury’s Bended Elbow Bar said when he was first approached about the idea he was adamant Daniel was crazy.

‘‘But he sold it to me because he’s a salesman,’’ Mr Grant said.

‘‘He sells more here than any other person and is twice as quick — and he doesn’t even get paid for it,’’ he said.

Mr Grant said he would meet ‘dollar for dollar’ what Daniel raised.

The ANZ leadership team of north-east Victoria decided to help Daniel raise funds by being involved in the walk. Members of the ANZ team walked from Benalla to Albury with the Border Village Charity Walk — an impressive 140km in three days as a tag team.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the charity walk, or to make a donation, can do so by visiting www.bordervillage.net

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