This Sunday, I will walk 11km at a local challenge walk for fun and exercise. I will pound the pavement of our local botanic gardens, chatting to a friend and soaking up the atmosphere with other walkers and excited families. For me, walking is something I do for fitness and fun. Other women don’t have a choice – they must walk to survive. Today is International Women’s Day, so it is a fitting day to bring you this post. It is not sponsored – I have joined this challenge on my own and think it is important enough to share with you.
Each day, girls and women in developing countries walk long distances to collect food, water and firewood for their families. As a result, they are not able to attend school or work, limiting their prospects and locking them in a cycle of poverty. They do not have ready access to clean water, nourishing food, or education and are denied the right to make decisions about their health.
In 2011, CARE Australia wanted to continue their aid work in developing countries, and specifically target raising money geared towards improving the lifestyles of these women and girls. They decided to start the Walk in Her Shoes campaign. For one week (this year is 17 to 23 March), you sign on to walk either 25, 50 or 100 kilometres over the course of the week. Broken down, this is only 5000, 10 000 or 20 000 steps per day. The recommended amount of walking in order to stay healthy is 10 000 steps, so you can be raising money and awareness just by going about your day. By signing up and asking others to support your efforts, you can raise money to help some people who really need it.
When you sign up, CARE Australia will send you a pedometer to track your steps, and if you have a smart phone you can access their brand new app to track your steps and donations. The app also takes you on a journey through Ethiopia as you walk, allowing you to learn more about one of the countries you will be helping.
Why should you support Walk in Her Shoes?
- Of the world’s poorest people, 70% are women and girls.
- On average, in developing countries, women and girls travel more than six kilometres per day collecting water. On each trip, they carry between 15 and 20 litres of water.
- Two out of three children who do not attend primary schools are girls.
- Women produce 50% of the world’s food, but only own 1% of its farmland.
Where does our money go?
One of the concerns that many people have when donating to charities is what the organisations spend the money on. CARE Australia are very clear about where their funds are distributed.
- 5% – Accountability and administration
- 9% – Fundraising costs
- 86% – Program expenditure
How can you help?
You can join the Walk in Her Shoes challenge here. If you would like to donate to my cause (I would love to raise $500) you can donate to my page here – no donation is too small, as every dollar helps!
Do you think you will join the Walk in Her Shoes Challenge? Which issues do you think affect women and girls the world over?
* Thank you to CARE Australia for supplying me with photos to use for this post.