Thousands of refugee children will be supported to go to school in East African refugee camps, thanks to the commitment and generosity of our Lutheran family and friends.
As of 15 May, more than 2860 children were to be helped to go to school and that number is growing daily, as are the participants and supporters of ALWS Walk My Way. With the postponement of 26-kilometre group walks scheduled for Melbourne in April and South Australia’s Barossa Valley last month due to the coronavirus pandemic, more than 270 people had walked, wheeled, ridden, woofed, or played their own way, in their own time, to raise more than $70,000 for the kids by that date.
It costs just $26 to help a refugee child to go to school by providing teachers, textbooks and tables. The Walk My Way aim for 2020 is to raise $260,000 – enough to support 10,000 children. Go to www.walkmyway.org.au to take part or sponsor walkers.
In the rebadged Walk Your Way, in which participants set themselves a challenge which is to be completed within government COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions, those taking part have been innovative and dedicated to the cause.
Here are some of their stories …
My way, not the highway
In February, Peter Renner decided he would do the Walk My Way in Melbourne. Peter says he started walking with the idea of getting fit enough to walk 26 kilometres ‘without embarrassing myself’… and then he just didn’t stop! Since 2 March, Peter’s training walks add up to more than 750 kilometres! Peter says: ‘If you look at it in terms of a return trip from Melbourne to Adelaide, I’m now approaching Murray Bridge on my way back to Melbourne. I haven’t been fitter in the past 20 years. I had planned to ask people to sponsor me, but when COVID-19 happened, I didn’t feel right asking people for money. Instead, I’ll donate a dollar for every kilometre walked from 2 March to Easter.’ Peter hopes to ‘return to Melbourne’ by the end of June.
Wet my way
Last year Peter Schubert completed Walk My Way in Darwin – this year it was in the cold of southern Adelaide. ‘I just completed my Southern Vales walk. Sharon Jaeschke joined me for the first half. Loved the challenge of 26 kilometres. Squally showers and quite cold (this former Top Ender has still not acclimatised!) especially in the morning. I kept thinking that my trials as a walker were nothing compared to those of the refugees we support.’
Man’s best walkmate
Colin Krause, at age 84 one of the two most senior walkers this year, did his walk in Nuriootpa, in South Australia, over a week with best friend Oscar.
Less pain, more gain
Last year, Bev Fiegert had a Walk My Way she won’t forget when she fell and broke her ankle. But that hasn’t put her off taking on the challenge again. This year has seen a much happier result. Courageous Bev and husband Stephen write: ‘Just walked the second 13kms to Hahndorf and back through the beautiful hills on a glorious day! No broken bones, just tired legs.’
A toddle for Hazel
For any struggling walkers, 16-month-old Hazel has been an inspiration. The toddler has received her Walk My Way t-shirt and is now tearing around the block on her way to her target. As of 7 May, she’d raised more than $3000 – enough to support schooling for more than 120 kids! See Hazel go at https://vimeo.com/413428472
An ALWS supporter couple, with a background in education including in Lutheran schools, donated $12,500 to match dollar-for-dollar what was raised on the scheduled Barossa Valley Walk My Way weekend.
When asked why, they replied: ‘We are very honoured and humbled to be able to donate to ALWS, as the gifts that we have been given have been gifts from our loving God. We know our gifts are to be shared and to be used to bring his kingdom to earth.
‘We have had our hearts grown over the years for people in third-world countries. It is important to our family that our gifts help to educate, support small businesses, and build people and their communities up so that they are empowered. The slogan “teach a man how to fish” is our philosophy.’
Walking for the LLL of it
Heather Gillings, who many Lutherans may know by having seen, met, or chatted to her at the front counter or on the phone at the LLL in North Adelaide, completed her walk in short bursts. ‘We are so amazingly blessed here in Australia and I feel this is a small way of giving and helping those in such need!!’
Janet McIntyre says: ‘Yesterday Anna, Louie (our dog) and I walked 16 kilometres along some picturesque roads between Mount Crawford, near Williamstown, and Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park (in the Barossa Valley in South Australia). Then I continued the next 10 kilometres with two other Walk My Way participants. We finished near Tanunda. The views were beautiful and it was so good to be out in the fresh air and God’s beautiful creation.’
On your bike …
Dean and Josh did a 26-kilometre bike ride from Tanunda to Angaston, in the Barossa, and back. Naturally, a stop at the Barossa Valley Cheese Company in Angaston was included.
Fairway to go!
Sandy and Paul Fiebig, from St Luke’s Lutheran Church at Meningie, South Australia, walked on Lake Albert Golf Course, which backs onto St Luke’s. Over four days, they really did walk a fairway …
Rain and shine
Greg Minge’s walk in the Barossa Valley came to a halt after six kilometres when rain set in. As his eldest daughter watched, Greg did 26 push-ups and 26 sit-ups as a substitute. When the rain stopped, enough sun came out for Greg to complete his walk – even removing his beanie!
Walk my way a day
David and Leanne Jaensch, from St John’s Unley, in South Australia, completed their 26 kilometres over 24 hours! They followed trails in the beautiful Adelaide foothills, complete with koalas along the way.
By the numbers
(as of 15 May 2020)
• 276 walkers
• Donations: $74,452
• $12,500 ‘DOUBLE’ target reached
• 2864 children supported so far