‘I’ve known Chris since we were teenagers and to be honest with you I
have always been a little bit worried about him. He has a great deal
of energy and clearly has a need to find outlets for that which have
luckily become more and more focused over the years.

I’m immensely proud of what Chris has set out to achieve and always do
my best to spread the word. When he went to the Congo last year a few
of us questioned his sanity, after all it is one of the biggest areas
of lawlessness on the planet. I work in a political environment and
was keenly aware of the attitude taken by the Foreign Office and
regional experts on travel to the Congo which was quite simpy ‘ don’t
do it’. The problem with Chris is that once you suggest he couldn’t,
or he shouldn’t do something then it hardens his resolve to do it.

He returned from last years trip a visibly changed man. Although we
didn’t discuss it at length there was an occassion after a few beers
when he was able to tell us about some of the things he had seen on
his trip. I noticed then that it had instilled a steely resolve which
has become more and more evident as 12×12 has grown from an already
amibitious undertaking to the challenge of not one, but a hundred
lifetimes.

I guess now the trip gets nearer it’s hard not think about the time he
had a gun held to his head after a midnight militia raid on his hotel.
His travelling partner Dominic Goggins is also a good friend and of
course I worry about them both. In a country where 6 million people
have died in a decade you know the lives of two foolhardy young Brits
are probably pretty cheap.

The reality though is that I am not that worried, Chris went last time
off his own back. This time he has organisational support and a cause
which will resonate with those whose lives have been shattered by the
ongoing conflict. I guess we have all grown used to the idea and tend
to think of Chris as invincible but the funny thing about what he has
done is that if the worst came to the worst I know that all of us
around him who have watched this incredible journey would probably
want to carry on campaigning to raise awareness of the situation in
the Congo. That is the beauty of it; by putting his own life on the
line he is changing the prospects of thousands of others.”

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One thought on “

  1. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. Chris is obviously a very courageous and caring human being. I will be praying for him and really feel that his trip and work will greatly impact the greater collective of people all around the globe that want to do their part, whatever it may be, to bring an end to this great humanitarian disaster in the DRC.

    To Chris, Safe joourney…Safe return.

    Sonya Shannon

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