Interview with TikTok’s most famous hiker, Mehdi Debbrah

TikTok’s most famous walker granted us an exclusive interview. After walking from Paris to Algiers to join his grandfather, Mehdi, a 27-year-old hiker, surprised his community by returning from Paris on foot.

The Parisian, with more than a million followers on social networks, has brightened the lives of European people with his incredible adventure. In April 2022, he set off with his backpack and trainers with one objective: leave France to join his paternal grandfather in Algeria and pay tribute to his father, who died this year. As a seasoned hiker, this was not his first escapade. Mehdi is keen on long-distance walks and has been posting his adventures on social media since 2020.

We asked Mehdi about his choice of going back to Paris by foot, and he answer, « I got used to walking, discovering new landscapes, meeting new people, and pushing myself. » His five months of walking were packed with emotions and exceptional encounters. His arrival to Algiers will remain forever engraved in his heart; according to him, it was the logical continuation.

He left the country on the 26th of November. Almost 3100 miles are planned between the capital of Algeria and Paris, passing through Morocco, Portugal, Spain, and France. The famous walker mentions some of the cities he will pass through: Oran, Casa Blanca, Tangiers, Seville, Lisbon, Bilbao, Bordeaux, and Paris.

A difficulty is added to this great distance, the winter season and its freezing temperatures in certain regions. But this detail does not dampen this courageous spirit; during our discussion, Mehdi confessed: « It doesn’t scare me. Physically I feel ready to do the 5000 km. That’s not a problem. I’m determined. »

The motivation of the walker is inspiring. Mehdi admits that he feels stressed before every walk, but « it all goes away as soon as I get on the road. » No walk is the same for this traveler; he says, « I want to take my time to enjoy the people and the encounters. You have to know that I did 45 km per day during my first walks. I had time to do nothing but put up my tent and walk. Now, it’s a relaxing rhythm. I enjoy it even more. »

Mehdi is outstanding for his friendliness and generosity. He dedicates his walk to the collection of funds for humanitarian aid. For Paris-Algiers, he received 65 000 euros of donations for his fund to build a water castle in Togo and to finance other humanitarian missions in Algeria and Tunisia. « There are other projects. With the association Life ONG, we were able to exchange. They are super flexible and let me choose the projects I wanted to do and where my collected money would go. But I can’t say more than that. », he says.

Mehdi was always interested in mutual aid and carrying out humanitarian projects to make the world a better place. He naturally turned to associations like Life ONG, with whom he works closely. We contacted them, and they kindly agreed to answer a few questions.

The frontline director, Souleyman, presented Life ONG’s actions. « We work with local partners in each of our intervention areas in Africa and Asia. » these partners are generally local non-profit associations « with a good knowledge of the realities. » He explains that the partners are perfectly aware of the subtleties of the terrain; they are « the key to the success of a humanitarian operation in the field.« 

In the case of Mehdi Debbrah, two types of action with entirely different operating methods were implemented following his collection: food distributions in Tunisia and Algeria and the construction of a borehole (water tower) in Togo.

Souleyman explains how those projects are operated. Food distribution starts « with a listing made by the partner to identify the people potentially eligible to receive a parcel. » The beneficiaries are often single-parent families, widows, or disabled people. The manager details the food distributed « corresponds to the dietary habits of the locals (e.g., rice, oil, dates, chickpeas, salt, sugar, etc.).« 

The construction of the borehole in Togo required four stages. The first stage is the diagnostic phase. Experts go to the field, and studies are elaborated. Following this stage is the Water Management Committee (WMC) setting up. The WMC is a voluntary committee made up of local people whose objective is to ensure the proper functioning and maintenance of the borehole by the beneficiaries. Then, the construction phase started on the 27th of May and took two months to complete. Lastly, the inauguration of the construction took place on the 30th of July.

Souleyman points out that Instagram live was created on the same day by Mehdi Debbrah. Mehdi shared this moment of intense joy with his community and the contributors to his collection.

The director concludes the interview by saying, « thanks to the generosity of the « Debbrah World Community, » more than 1,000 beneficiaries in the village of Sakponi and neighboring towns now have access to clean, safe water daily. »

This is Mehdi’s gift, bringing people together in joy and kindness. As Souleyman would said, donors federating a community on social networks “allow the NGO to benefit from greater visibility among them, it is undeniable.” LIFE is ready to welcome these donors into the field transparently to show their community the seriousness and professionalism of the NGO.

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Accent Direct
Inscrivez-vous à notre newsletter pour suivre nos actus