On the morning of Saturday, 19 August, former volunteer Finn Egan takes the first step from Cape Reinga to walk the length of New Zealand to raise funds for a woman’s refuge in Kokopo, PNG.

Can you offer Finn a cup of tea, a hot shower or some local publicity?

Finn will welcome all the support he can get as he makes his way down the country. To see if he’s near your town, check his Facebook site. It’s linked to a GPS tracker provided courtesy of Spot NZ.

Finn hopes to complete his four-month trek along the 3200-km Te Araroa trail by Christmas. He’s not long back from assignment in Kokopo where another volunteer, Laura Barnett, is working at a women’s refuge run by a small not-for-profit.

Finn is keen to support their work but says the project has its challenges. “It needs a base house and although they have the land and building plans, they need funds to construct it.”

He will self-fund his walk and all the money he raises will go to building the refuge. Any funds left over will go to care packages for local women and families who use it. “Having just come back, I know that violence against women is a big social issue in Papua New Guinea,” Finn says. “I was struck by the similarities to that same issue here at home in New Zealand and I just thought it’s an issue I can help with.”

He plans to return to university next year to complete a masters degree and says he had been thinking about walking the Te Araroa trail for some time. So, with a few spare months on his hands and a good cause to support, he decided the time was right.

“Whether through financial or moral support, I would appreciate if you share my journey with as many people as possible so that together we can make a real difference to people in very real situations,” he says.