Walk My Way is back for 2022 and is already having a big impact on the lives and futures of children living as refugees – with more than $34,000 raised as of 24 May.
Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) is this year again hoping to raise more than $260,000 through its walking challenge – enough to support 10,000 refugee children to go to school. Last year more than $368,000 was donated nationwide, through approximately 4,000 people taking part in the more than 30 events. In 2022, there will be congregational, school and group walks, along with a Lutheran Education Australia-supported schools and community event planned for Friday 21 October. Individuals and families can also take part in their own walking challenge, where and when it suits.
The first group walk of 2022 was staged by Year 9s from Encounter Lutheran College Victor Harbor, south of Adelaide, on 3 May and, as of 24 May, had raised $10,035 to support children in East Africa and Myanmar. Students walked 26 kilometres as a service component of their year-level camps – the boys along the Heysen Trail on the Fleurieu Peninsula, and the girls at Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges in South Australia’s north.
The second group walk for 2022 was organised by members from St John’s Lutheran Church Unley in suburban Adelaide on 7 May and, as of 24 May, had raised $20,022 to support refugees from Ukraine. St John’s member Jodi Brook said organisers were overwhelmed by the response to the event, which brought together 70 people of all ages and abilities for three walks ranging between 3 kilometres and 7.6 kilometres on the streets near their church.
One of the walkers, Meagan Schwarz, said: ‘We were able to talk to our six-year-old about why we are doing this and to give thanks to God for all the things we take for granted which made this walk possible.’
Community Education Coordinator for Walk My Way, Kirra Lewis, said that since 2019, Walk My Way had helped 62,500 refugee children go to school.
You can still donate to the Encounter or St John’s walking teams, to other walkers or teams or organise your own walk. See https://walkmyway.org.au for details.