Students challenged with a walk

Students challenged with a walk

Mandy Gilchrist with year five students doing the Walk In Her Shoes challenge. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

A year five class from Marri Grove Primary School in Byford are taking part in the Walk In Her Shoes challenge run by CARE Australia to help reduce the distance women and girls have to walk in developing countries for water.

The two-week challenge began on October 10, with walking targets range from 10,000 steps per day, 5km and 8km per day and 50km and 70km per week.

The fundraising targets range from $25 to $250.

Marri Grove primary school teacher Mandy Gilchrist, who is taking part in the challenge and already raised $400, said the money will go towards helping women and girls who are forced to spend hours every day walking to collect water.

She said she is using the Walk In Her Shoes challenge as a platform to discus challenges that people face in developing countries.

“I shared with my class I was planning to take on a challenge, and they wanted to get involved and do the walk too,” she said.

“Every day they are walking laps of the school oval, with some children trying to carry buckets for a better understanding of what women and girls endure.

“I told them that some things we would discuss would be a little bit confronting and sad at times, but it is creating an awareness about how lucky they are and how they can help.”

Ms Gilchrist said she is proud of the students for their support and effort.

“They are embracing all the learning and I hope it makes a difference to the way they live their lives,” she said.

Lyrian Fleming-Parsley from CARE Australia said every $250 raised would be enough to send a girl to school for one year.

“It’s shocking that in many poor countries girls have to choose between walking to find drinking water and going to school,” she said.

“Simply having to walk to survive traps many women and then their children into a lifetime of poverty.

“Having thousands of Australians stepping up to the Walk in Her Shoes challenge can make a genuine and lasting difference to the lives of the world’s poorest women and girls.”

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