Walk My Way
The ALWS Walk My Way hits the Sunshine Coast on Sunday 4 August 2019. The 25km walk is part of The GRACE Project, aiming to help 40,000 refugee children go to school in 2019! Whilst it is so easy to pass off another ‘walking event’ as just another fundraiser, little do we realise or understand the impact attending these events can have.
Jonathan Krause, Community Action Manager, ALWS, shares the eye opening reality of our neighbours and our opportunity to be apart of changing their reality.
Going the Distance
What Noosa to Coolum and Nadapal to Kakuma have in common is merely distance.
When Queenslanders step out on the ALWS Walk My Way, the Sunshine Coast walk will be a very different walk from that taken by the children we help.
While we enjoy beaches and boardwalks, the children we help face automatic rifles and arson. While we are fuelled by a Big Burst Brekkie and a mid-walk Sausage Sizzle, the refugee children survived on water from puddles and scavenged scraps.
Understanding the Reality
When I met Isaac at the Transit Centre at Nadapal on the Kenyan border with South Sudan, he’d been walking for four days.
25 years old, he was strong. But not so were the six children in his care.
“We had no food. The children were frightened.”
“We came because there is a lot of crisis. People are killing. They are putting people inside the hut and killing them. Tribes fighting tribes. My father has died. My mother is too old to come. We had nothing there, so I have to bring the children.”
Up to 60% of the world’s refugees are children. Parents see fleeing as their children’s only hope of survival.
Through ALWS, you met Isaac and the six children at the border. Just as Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25:34-40, you ‘welcome the stranger’. You provide them with food, water, blankets, sleeping mats and shelter. You even showed them how to use a Long Drop Loo – the children had never used a built toilet before.
What comes next is what makes your Walk My Way so important.
Isaac and the children were taken to Kakuma Refugee Camp, deeper inside Kenya. Chances are, they will be here many years – only 1% of refugees are resettled each year.
One of the most effective ways to help refugee children recover from what they suffered is to get them into school. Here they have routine, can learn, make new friends and have fun. They start to believe life can be normal again.
Our Impact On Their Reality
When Queenslanders do the ALWS Walk My Way, each $26 raised can help a refugee child go to school. Train teachers, supply schoolbooks, make sure there is a desk.
The best thing about this gift of education is no one can take it away! And no matter where life takes each child helped, the education you give goes with them.
Unsure about the distance, date, location or ability?
- You don’t have to walk 26 kilometres to do Walk My Way. You can do less.
- If Sunday 4 August doesn’t suit, you can do it on another day.
- If the Sunshine Coast is too far, you can do it where you live.
- You don’t even have to walk to do Walk My Way – you can sponsor a Walker. Or simply come to the Big Burst Brekkie and Opening Service!
The ALWS Walk My Way is an official LCA Queensland event, bringing love to life.
It’s a time we can come together – church and school, young and old, city and country, Christian and community, Lutheran and ‘just looking’. Best of all, each step we take together, we walk in solidarity with refugees like Isaac and the six children he led to safety … and give them the chance of a better life by being able to go to school.
That is why we Walk My Way!
Register Your Spot
When: Sunday 4 August, 6-30am
Where: Good Shepherd Lutheran College, Noosa to Luther Heights, Coolum