Volunteers, veterans and members of O.N.E, Ireland’s recognised charity for veterans, are set to participate in a combined run, walk, swim or cycle of 24,000 km as part of the Jadotville Challenge which will take place on June 29.
As the 60th anniversary approaches of the Jadotville Tigers standing their ground against 3,000 Katangese soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Jadotville Challenge, a virtual 24,000 kilometre journey to the Congo, was organised by volunteers to highlight the issues faced by former Defence Forces members.
In 1961 members of Ireland’s Defence Forces volunteered for a UN peacekeeping mission that descended into a 5 day battle for survival and 34 days of detainment. When they returned home many were met with disdain, harbouring feelings of shame and experiencing a medley of mental health problems.
ONE currently has 37 branches under 3 area councils and offers 49 beds to homeless ex service personnel as well as mental health supports through 15 veteran support centres. 95% of veterans aided by ONE’s vital services have gone on to secure permanent housing.
With more than 100,000 former permanent and reserve Defence Force personnel across Ireland, many continue to struggle with the return to civilian life.
The proceeds raised by the Jadotville Challenge will go directly towards providing services to tackle mental health issues and homelessness among veterans.
The Jadotville Challenge, which takes place from the 29th of June to the 3rd of July, is a fun, active way to support Ireland’s Defence Forces and remember the brave actions of the Jadotville Tigers.
Participants can walk, run, swim or cycle for a combined total of 24,000 kilometres, the length of Athlone to Jadotville and back.
Those interested in taking part can register at https://www.jadotvillechallenge.com/
Speaking about the Jadotville Challenge, spokesperson for the event CEO Ollie O’ Connor said:
“By taking part in the Jadotville Challenge, you are remembering those who bravely fought at Jadotville over 5 days in September 1961, bringing honour to Ireland and supporting Irish Defence Forces Veterans who now need your assistance.”
For more information on ONE and the Jadotville Challenge visit the website at https://www.one-veterans.org/