Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

On the road – left: Suresh Joachim poses Tuesday in Whitehorse with the peace touch he carries during his World Peace Marathon. Seen above are some of Suresh Joachim’s records as listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Fundraiser is out to set a world record

The World Peace Man is looking to set the Guinness World Record for raising the most money through a charity run.

By Gord Fortin on August 8, 2018

The World Peace Man is looking to set the Guinness World Record for raising the most money through a charity run.

Suresh Joachim began his World Peace Marathon on Christmas Day last year in Bethlehem City. The run will end in Toronto on Sept. 22.

He is running to both end poverty and achieve world peace, he told the Star Tuesday in Whitehorse.

His goal is to promote his idea for a world without wars or poverty. He wants to get people talking on how this can be achieved.

Joachim wants to see groups in conflict discuss their problems face-to-face and work out their differences.

“That’s my idea,” he said.

He wants to see ceasefires in all wars, and desires to see societies like North Korea and the Islamic State talk about peace.

Without a cease-fire, Joachim said, there is no chance for anyone to talk about their problems.

If more people came to the table, he feels, all parties would learn more about one another and build discussions based on this new knowledge.

“We can talk and bring something to the world,” he said.

Joachim’s run has taken him to approximately six continents, 72 countries and 93 cities.

He has talked to many leaders all over the world, from ministers to mayors. He has also been to the U.K.’s Parliament and the French Parliament.

He said that on his journeys, he notices that people realize peace is for everyone. It’s beyond language and religion.

Joachim believes the world’s conflicts are a result of poverty.

“The poverty is creating the wars,” he said.

He said people often ask him why he is running in Canada.

He tells people Canada may not be fighting in any war, but there is poverty here. He included Canada in his run because there are people in Canada suffering who can’t afford food.

Joachim said he chose this cause because of struggles he saw growing up in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

He said his family lived in a hostel. Many would come to the hostel to speak with others about their problems.

“I was standing in the corner thinking, ‘why are these people suffering? – and I have to do something,’” he said.

He said his life was changed after seeing Michael Jackson, the late pop superstar, make a donation to a charity supporting the children of Singapore in 1984. This inspired him to take action and do something good for the world.

In 1991, he saw that year’s edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. It inspired him to try to set records of his own to gain the notoriety for his causes. He said he still has the 1991 publication.

During the Star interview, he presented the 2014 Guinness Book of World Records, which shows some of the records he holds.

Although Joachim demonstrates a lot of passion for his cause, the run has not been without its challenges.

During his time in Ukraine, Joachim ran out of money and could not eat for three days. He used this as inspiration to fight harder because it reminded him of what he is fighting against: poverty and starvation.

“That was a major challenge,” he said.

He also had some trouble when he tried to enter the U.S. He didn’t have physical money to pay for a visa, and was unable to use debit nor credit. He said a stranger lent him the money, and he repaid that person.

Joachim said he has received similar kindness everywhere he has been.

“People are very nice around the world,” he said.

He is asking for Canadians to donate. He said World Vision helps approximately 95 countries, and Canada is one of the more prominent countries giving aid.

Joachim arrived in Whitehorse on Monday. He met with Mayor Dan Curtis, who gave a videoed statement for the cause.

He planned to leave the city today, with his next destinations being Inuvik, N.W.T. and Yellowknife.

Joachim has been running for 220 days, covering more than 2,900 kilometres. His goal is to raise $25 million – he has raised $10,200 thus far.

Anyone looking to make a donation can do so online at www.world peacemarathon.com or www.suresh joachim.com.

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