Steve Johnson stopped by Othello Tunnels in Hope last Friday as part of his Gambaro Japan! Walk for Japan awareness campaign.

Walking for a cause

Alberta teacher helps Japan's disaster victims

Steve Johnson is on a mission to raise awareness about the ongoing relief efforts in Japan.

The teacher from St. Albert, Alta. stopped in Hope on Friday as part of his Gambaro Japan! Walk for Japan from the Edmonton Japanese Community Association Centre to its counterpart in Vancouver.

“Through this event I hope to provide insight, further understanding and a deepened perspective regarding the disaster in Japan,” said Johnson. “I hope to encourage people to develop their natural feeling of connectedness to current events and to take action when they feel passionate about an issue, whether it be global or local.”

After living and teaching in Japan for eight years, Johnson and his wife returned home several months before the earthquake and tsunami hit on March 11. Even though they didn’t have a direct connection to the victims, they still felt saddened by the distress in the country. Johnson launched his campaign to help draw attention back to the relief efforts.

“I hope my actions will remind people that for so many, the story is far, far from over,” he said. “Ultimately, my hope is that a message is sent out from this country and from countries around the world. Not a message that they need to endure more, but rather that they receive a message of hope.”

Johnson began his journey in June with the goal of completing his trip in 31 days. He walks about 40 kilometres every day through parks and scenic areas, and stops in communities along the way to share his message.

Johnson visited Mount Hope Lookout and Othello Tunnels on Friday.

To follow Johnson’s journey, visit  http://walkforjapan.blogspot.com.