Staplefield boy with learning difficulties does ‘freedom walk’ to help elephant charities

An eight-year-old boy from Staplefield has completed a 30 mile ‘freedom walk’ as part of his ongoing support for a charity that helps Indian elephants.

Thursday, 21st January 2021, 4:23 pm
Xavi SUS-210118-105821001

Xavi Barugh, who goes to St Peter’s Primary School in Chailey, was inspired to do the walk to help Wildlife SOS after its rescue of an elephant on New Year’s Eve.

He said: “I don’t like walking but the elephants don’t like walking hundreds of miles as slaves, so I wanted to do a freedom walk for the elephants at Wildlife SOS, especially for Jai.

“They drove about 1,000 miles to bring Jai back to their elephant hospital.

“I want to make the elephants from Wildlife SOS and the team proud!”

Xavi, who has learning difficulties, raised more than £1,700 in the run up to Christmas for Wildlife SOS and completed his walk on Sunday, January 17.

He was so moved by the story of Raju, an elephant which was rescued from a lifetime of abuse, that he wanted to help the elephants under the charity’s care.

Cara Catchpole, Xavi’s teacher said: “As his teacher I see the struggles that Xavi faces every day and the distress that these cause him.

“Learning about all that Wildlife SOS does has enabled me to give Xavi focus on the one thing he loves, animals! 

“Wildlife SOS has been utterly amazing in embracing this wonderful little man that I love so much and am helping to navigate through this very difficult world.”