270 people brave elements for Walk My Way
More than 270 people braved the wet weather on July 4 to take part in the inaugural Walk My Way Refugee Reconnection Walk from Hahndorf to Adelaide.
Photograph: Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie, left, Mount Barker Mayor Ann Ferguson and St Michael’s Lutheran Students Isabella Sanders-Wills, Amelie D’Arcy, Georgia King and Lucy Beaumont.
The walk traced the Pioneers Women’s Trail through the Hills and was organised by the Australian Lutheran World Service to raise more than $200,000 to educate 5000 children in refugee camps in Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia.
Federal Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie, donated $500 towards the cause with walkers raising more than $130,000.
Ms Sharkie was asked to speak at the official launch along with South Australian Senator Penny Wong and Mount Barker Mayor Ann Ferguson.
“Walk My Way came about because the Australian Lutheran World Service noticed there was a synergy between the $26 a day per child the organisation needed to send a refugee to school and the 26km the Lutheran pioneer women of Hahndorf walked to Adelaide to sell produce in the market,” Rebekha said.
“Walk My Way was an event that not only remembers the hard work and faith of these pioneers; it was a walk of solidarity with the refugees around the world who have walked long distances to reach safety.”
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are more than 65 million refugees in the world today.
Australian Lutheran World Service started as an organisation helping refugees fleeing from Europe to Australia after WW2.
One in six of the world’s refugees were Lutherans at that time.
One of the special guests at the Walk My Way launch was Adelaide-based AFL women’s player Susan Chuot who came to Australia when she was a teenager after spending her childhood in the Kakuma Refugee Camp.