New Zealander Karl Taaffe is planning to walk 2039 km from Bluff on the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand to Cape Reinga on the North Island to bring about a greater awareness of suicide. His epic journey, Dare2Hope, will begin on November 15—covering an average of 30 km a day. He will spend approximately 75 days on the road inviting a nation to Dare2Hope again.
Karl Taffe started Dare2Hope after losing family and friends to suicide. He wants to bring about a greater awareness of suicide in New Zealand and to promote hope as the alternative.
There is a better way and this journey I am undertaking with my wife and support team is to motivate, inspire, and to encourage all to know that change can take place
“There is a better way and this journey I am undertaking with my wife and support team is to motivate, inspire, and to encourage all to know that change can take place. There is an alternative to suicide. Enough is enough. We must act before another family experiences the pain and loss of a life that was cut down prematurely because they felt that they had no hope,” says Karl Taaffe.
“There will be dark days where I will not feel like getting up and walking especially on wet, windy, cold days but through it all—like feelings of suicide—I will get through it, if I just don’t give up.”
It’s estimated that ten people in New Zealand commit suicide every week. In 2009, the actual figure was an astronomical 541 suicides. The gender difference was, 401 males to 140 females. That’s approximately 1 out of every 7000 New Zealanders taking their lives each year.
Karl has lost family to suicide. When he was 17 years of age, a close friend took his life. For the next 10 years it was like an epidemic had spread far and wide to many others he knew. But it was on December 4, 2007, that this tragic reality struck home like never before.
“My 17 year old cousin took her life—leaving my family and a community devastated. I’m sure many of you can relate to my experience and have asked yourself the question, ‘What could have been done?’ As I contemplated what could be done, people continued to take their lives, right up till in August 2010 when another friend was tragically gone,” says Karl.
Jeremiah 29:11 is a Bible verse Carl quotes often, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Karl believes that peoples live can change that they can dare2hope again. Karl is inviting New Zealanders to support him on his journey. Pastor Paul Rankin, New Zealand Pacific Union health director, has committed $NZ500 in support of Karl Taafee’s epic journey and sees Dare2hope as an important ministry for those who see no hope in life.
“Come out and join me as I walk through your home town. Share your story with me and motivate those who you know that have been affected by this tragedy first hand. So they can see some hope again through what is being done,” says Karl.
If you would like to contact Karl or support his ministry go: