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Walking to give women a path out of poverty


A group of employees from the Adelaide Diocesan Centre took a late afternoon walk up Carrick Hill and around Brownhill Creek recently as part of a Caritas Australia fundraiser to support underprivileged women around the world.

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The ‘Trek up the Hill’ event saw the women enjoying a walk in the beautiful surroundings of the Adelaide foothills, completing the day with a shared meal and prayer as the sun began to set over the city.

Caritas Diocesan director, Tracey Tessitore, said the activity enabled participants to “learn, contemplate, pray and do something practical for our sisters across the seas”.

“The walk was an opportunity for us to step outside our comfort zone, gently push our bodies in solidarity with our sisters and their life challenges,” she said.

“But like all challenges, God never leaves us empty…the walk was full of beauty, feminine camaraderie, shared wisdom and a shared meal.”

Alison Appleby, who took part in the walk with her daughter Candace, said it had provided a perfect setting for contemplation and prayer.

“We trekked up Brown Hill at Mitcham physically pushing ourselves (well those of those who are not so fit) to climb the hill and shared a meal at the top,” she said.

“We shared the stories of seven women from marginalised countries who have overcome adversity, as each woman has overcome something different. It was a wonderful reflective experience for a very worthy cause.”

Trek up the Hill was organised as part of Caritas Australia’s annual Women for the World campaign which encourages people to either donate or host an event. Money raised will help empower vulnerable women with the skills and resources they need to take control of their lives and forge a way out of poverty.

Launching the program last month, Caritas said women around the world were disproportionately affected by poverty, food insecurity and gender-based violence. According to UN Women, globally 193 million women currently live on less than $1.90 a day and the pandemic will likely push an additional 47 million women into poverty by the end of the year.

“I have learned over my career that supporting women and girls is one of the most cost-effective and sustainable ways to promote positive change in a community,” said Kirsty Robertson, CEO of Caritas Australia.

“When girls are supported to receive an education they are more able to earn an income. The children of educated women are healthier, are more likely to stay in school, and have better diets. These are the kinds of impacts that last long after a program finishes.”

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