Australia: 2nd Annual Walk-A-Thon
Supporting Our Pacific Island Neighbours
MARCH 4, 2017
Second Annual Walk-A-Thon to raise funds for Pacific Island Projects
The "Support our Pacific Neighbours Walk-a-thon" took place for the second time at Silvan Reservoir Park, a beautiful location in the Dandenong Ranges on the outskirts of Melbourne. In partnership with FFWPU, UPF and WFWP, this community and family event was open to young, old and those with special needs, providing three different types of walks: gentle, advanced and special needs.
The purpose of the Walk-a-thon is to raise funds for WFWP Australia's practical projects within the Oceania Islands nations. Undertaken since 2003, successful projects include: supplying books for the Islands; donating sewing machines to support the Women's Sewing Centres; a solar panel donation for the New Hope Kindergarten in Honiara; and character education programs for youth.
"It was a great opportunity to talk to people who have worked with WFWP in the past and meet new people who just picked up one of our flyers!" - Kosina Hanson (Brighton VIC.)
We were blessed with beautiful weather. Upon arrival, Walk-a-thon participants registered for their walk and at 10.30 am the Walk-a-thon commenced. Participants left the park site well equipped with hats, water and a snack pack.
Back in a barbeque area, an activity table was set up and craft activities were provided for families with small children. They enjoyed playing with our homemade non-toxic play-dough and colouring in the mindfulness illustrations.
We were so excited to welcome participants from different cultural backgrounds, walks of life and age groups.
After the walk, we all relished exquisite homemade salads and burgers, enjoying each other's company.
The overall atmosphere was very positive and participants were friendly and supportive. It was also very inspiring to meet new people interested in supporting our cause.
"It was a fun day with nice walks and good food." - Antoine Bellavance (Emerald VIC)
This year, funds raised from the Walk-a-thon will support the "Pacific Island Scholarship Fund." This project, in partnership with UPF and FFWPU is a not for profit development program that aims to provide young adults from Solomon Islands and Vanuatu with opportunities to access empowering education programs in their own country. The program supports young people who are passionate about getting an education and who align their heart with one of the values and goals of WFWP: "Living for the sake of others".
In Solomon Islands, education is not free, so families can only afford sending their children to school until a certain age. As a consequence, youth and young adults do not fully complete their education and their place is therefore taken by foreigners. This creates a tremendous social problem: Solomon Islanders become second-class citizens in their own country.
With this scholarship, WFWP allows young women to receive an education and feel empowered, thereby contributing to the resolution of this social problem.
A suitable candidate has already been chosen who is going to attend Early Childhood Education at the Solomon Islands National University. Her name is Jenny Quta Morehaa. We are all very proud of Jenny and we are sure she will do well in university. We will be hearing a lot more about her as her studies progress. In the meantime, we wish her all the best. Congratulations Jenny!
Further WFWP projects include the launch of a microcredit initiative for small start-up and existing businesses in Solomon Islands. Through the Walk-a-thon funds, small-scale credit is provided to small businesses to develop an economic activity, thereby improving their financial status. Since legal forms are currently being created, this initiative will most likely be launched later through the 2017 year.
WFWP would like to sincerely thank all our sponsors, supporters and walkers who make the Walk-a-thon a successful event this year. We raised over 1'500$ on the day and have enough funds available for Jenny's Early Childhood education training. A big thank you also to all staff that helped with the preparation of the event: the cook; the photographer; and the coordinators.