“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
This quote from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is one of many variations on the theme of walking in another’s shoes, to gain an understanding, an empathy with our fellow beings on this planet.
Every day, in countries all over the developing world, women and girls have to walk long distances to fetch water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. This water is often dirty and infected and because they have to spend time collecting it, these children and women miss out on the chance to go to school or to work.
Every day for a week, from 5 to 12 March, I’ll be walking 10,000 steps to represent the distance that women and girls have to travel each day just to fetch water for their families.
I’m asking you to sponsor me so that I can help CARE International provide clean water to communities in the developing world and give women and girls the chance of a better future.
To give you an idea, 10,000 steps is approximately 7km or just over 4 miles. That’s well over an hour’s worth of walking every day.
You may think that I’m pretty active, and I do try to be, but on a typical working day I manage around half that number of steps. On some days it’s far less. So I’ll have to plan to work in those extra steps, before work, on my lunch break and into the evening.
So I’ll be offering to do the tea run, willingly going on errands, taking the stairs and going the long way round. Would anyone like to lend me their dog?
Unlike the women and girls I’m representing, I won’t have missed out on opportunities to go to school, get an education and a job because of the time spent collecting water every day.
In supporting me, it’s those women and girls you’ll really be helping. By providing something as simple as access to safe, clean drinking water, you can help not only improve health and sanitation, but offer real change for the future through the opportunity of education and work. Helping people help themselves.
So if you can spare a few quid, please drop it into my virtual online bucket: www.justgiving.com/Michelle-walk2016 You’ll be helping relieve another woman of the burden of carrying water for her family.
If you’re in or near London you can join the International Women’s Day Walk on 6 March. Enjoy rousing music and hear from passionate 21st century suffragettes, then march in solidarity with the world’s poorest women and girls.