Just days after the world celebrates International Women’s Day, one Monash student will begin walking in the shoes of women less fortunate to show she cares.
Bridget Mattingley, a fourth year Bachelor of Arts (Global) and Bachelor of Science student at Monash University’s Clayton campus, will begin walking 10,000 steps, or approximately eight kilometres, each morning as part of CARE Australia’s ‘Walk in her Shoes’ Challenge.
Every day millions of women and girls around the globe walk over six kilometres in search of food, water and firewood, leaving them with little time for school, accessing health services or earning an income.
“CARE works in a range of countries, with the money raised from this particular challenge put towards empowering women and their communities through principles such as equal access to education,” Bridget said.
“One of my key motivations for participating has been my experience studying at Monash University’s Sunway campus in 2011, during which I also travelled extensively throughout Southeast Asia. This deepened my awareness of key issues and complexities prevalent through the region.
“It was a joy to see the smiling faces of locals and the strong sense of community shared and open hospitality, even in places where hardships and discrimination were widely evident.”
At Monash Bridget is focusing on international studies and conservation biology, two passions which she hopes to eventually combine.
“I am interested in issues of sustainability, environmental education and how to maximise livelihoods and development without compromising cultural diversity, access to and resilience of natural resources and the land,” Bridget said.
From 12-18 March Bridget will walk 10,000 steps a day in order to raise her target of $750. Just $250 can provide a girl with an education scholarship that includes uniforms, travel costs and food for one year. A simple rope water pump and maintenance training for a community can be bought with $500, drastically reducing the time taken to collect water.
“Such funding is important in providing economic opportunity, with the overall goal of strengthening the capacity of individuals and communities alike to be independent, dynamic and resilient while upholding values of dignity, respect and cultural diversity,” Bridget said.