Andre Belibi Eloumou, a 33 year-old French native, was almost two months into his five month journey across the United States as he passed through Fort Riley and Junction City Tuesday.
Eloumou, the son of a Cameroon immigrant who moved to France in the ‘70s with less than $50 in his pocket and a strong faith in God, will reach Santa Monica, California, on March 1 according to his website, andrerunusa.com.
The 3,600 mile trek across the states is aimed to raise awareness and funds for USA for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
“I’m doing this to is to promote the United Nation Refugee Agency … to build classrooms and to build schools to give access to children refugees,” Eloumou said. “And, I’m also doing this to pay tribute to American pioneers who went out west.”
Along his journey Eloumou was joined by Lt. Col. Robert Parish, Fort Riley’s director of Behavioral Health, in Manhattan, through Fort Riley and through Junction City.
“He gave a fireside in Topeka a couple nights ago and stayed with some friends of mine,” he said. “I came over and I found out he was gonna be running through Fort Riley, so I said, ‘You’ll probably need my help.’”
On their way through the installation, the duo stopped for photos in front of the First Territorial Capital of Kansas and one of the historical markers on Huebner Avenue before making their way past the post cemetery and out onto Grant Avenue. The two continued west through town past US77 on McFarland before Eloumou continued toward Abilene.
Eloumou said he averages about 33 miles a day and only rests on Sunday.
“The Sabbath day,” he said. “ To relax, chill then out the next day.”
Eloumou’s journey can be tracked via social media — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube — and his website, andrerunusa.com, as he documents his journey across the nation.