Thousands of Australians are currently taking part in the Walk In Her Shoes Challenge, including Emily Sargeson, who has the added challenge carrying 12L of water whilst walking barefoot, to raise funds and awareness for women and girls.
How have you found the challenge so far Emily?
It has been so much fun! Trying to walk 20,000 steps a day has definitely been a challenge, particularly because I’m doing it barefoot – but that’s all part of the challenge for me!
How many steps have you completed towards your goal?
So far I have taken 41, 500 steps… and counting! It’s about 33kms and well over halfway towards my 42km goal.
How does it feel walking with 12L of water on your back?
It’s quite hard carrying the water, but it helps that throughout the day I’m drinking it – so the more I walk, the lighter it gets!
How difficult has it been to walk 42km barefoot?
Being barefoot is definitely the hardest part of this week for me. There are so many things my feet notice, like little sticks and stones on the ground that I normally wouldn’t notice in shoes. Although it hasn’t been easy, I am so much more appreciative of comfortable shoes now, as well as the few metres it takes for me to get to the tap for clean drinking water! At least I don’t have to do this every day, unlike many women and girls around the world.
What walking tips would you give to other participants?
My top tip is to stay motivated and make it fun! Find cool new places around your area as you are walking, explore parts of the city you don’t normally go to because you usually take public transport, and go for a walk to catch up with friends rather than coffee! It’s free and is also helping you to reach your target – plus your friends can always donate the cost of the coffee to your fundraising page.
How did you start your fundraising?
I sent out a huge email to my contacts list and will continue to send them little updates – I think it is important to use the CARE written email as a guideline, but it helps to personalise the emails too.
I always make sure I thank people for their donations, and to share what I am doing with everyone and anyone – whether via social media or people on the street!
What keeps you motivated and continuing on with the walk?
Knowing that this is SUCH a good cause. Knowing that the money I raise is really going to make a difference for women and children in developing countries. I am so privileged to live in such a wealthy country, why not use it for the better and to help others? Why not make a difference…when I know I can?
From 16-22 March 2015, you can join thousands of Australians taking part in CARE Australia’s Walk In Her Shoes Challenge. The money you raise by taking part will help fund CARE projects that help women, girls and entire communities overcome the devastating cycle of poverty.
To take the first step, simply register online at Walkinhershoes.org.au.