Your step makes the way

© Sergi Cámara

The ‘Walks for Hospitality’ initiative is dedicated to all those who are fleeing the horror of war and violence, and who have to walk their way to safety.          

In Syria, 12 years of war have triggered the forced exile of more than 13 million citizens. Conflicts in Africa, Latin America, Ukraine and other parts of the world are forcing more than 100 million people to flee violence, impoverishment, lack of basic resources and climate change in search of a better life and a prosperous future. Europe is a continent marked by the paths that millions of people have walked in the past and continue to walk today to build societies of peace, respect for human rights and democratic values.

These pathways have to remain open to the people who are knocking at Europe’s door, seeking refuge, and also as a symbol of the richness of cultural exchange and the opportunities that being cities, towns and regions of hospitality offer for our lives. We can only build the future together if we build a culture of hospitality, solidarity and inclusion that is grounded in peace.

We launched the ‘Walks for Peace’ initiative in 2023 in Spain, in collaboration with ECCA Social, Educsi (Jesuit educational centers) and the Spanish Federation of Jesuit Alumni; and across Europe, in collaboration with the Jesuit Refugee Service Europe (JRS Europe), JECSE (European network of Jesuit educational centers) and ECJA (European Confederation of Jesuit Alumni). Hundreds of people took to the streets in cities across the continent, standing up and walking for a culture of peace and hospitality.


The Walks for Peace initiative grew out of the legacy left to us by Father Frans Van der Lugt, a Jesuit who died in the siege of Homs in 2014, after nearly 50 years living in Syria, where he had founded a farm and community centre on the outskirts of the city. Father Frans Van der Lugt was well loved in his community and was well known for his annual multi-day walk through the countryside with young people of all religious beliefs and backgrounds. Walks that blazed a new trail in the defense of humanity, a symbol of peace and coexistence between all people regardless of ideology, religious beliefs, origin, gender. Walks that symbolise the rejection of all forms of violence, inequality and hostility.

In Spain, the Hospitalidad (Hospitality) campaign has taken up the legacy of Father Van der Lugt to launch this solidarity initiative in 2018, and it has continued over the years, with thousands of people taking to the streets in dozens of cities to show their support for the dignity of refugees.


Your help is essential to build a culture of solidarity and inclusion with refugees and migrants.

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