Spending time in South Africa and Zimbabwe last year made me consider a lot of my preconceptions about the line separating the ‘haves’ from the ‘have nots’. It made me think very seriously about what I can do to help. I remember feeling very sceptical around the time of Live 8 and the Make Poverty History campaign that there was a lot of hot air being blown at the problem (hello Bono, I love you, stick to singing) – but how much was actually achieved?
The problem of tackling global food insecurity seemed then and seems still so huge as to be almost unsolvable. What can I do? I am one person, neither wealthy nor powerful (in the greater scheme of things, that is).
But, (and I never thought I’d be saying this) a poem Sister Aquinas taught us in first year Religion class comes back to me: I’m only one person. But I am one person. I can’t do everything. But I can do something. It seems to me that what I can do is on the person-to-person level. I can’t save the world, but perhaps I can reach out to one person. Or two. Or even ten.
So … in the spirit of showing solidarity with the wonderful people I met as I travelled through Southern Africa, and in an effort to help improve the life of even one of those people, I am doing another hike. This one's a little more ambitious.
From 2nd October to the 9th, I’ll be walking with a group from Canberra to Mount Kosciuszko, a total distance of 240km.
I will be taking my camera with me and, if possible, will blog where I can along the way. This is by way of being a pilgrimage: both a chance to think about the personal pilgrimage I’m on as I travel the world, and to think about a project and a goal bigger than myself. It’s also an opportunity to see some beautiful Australian countryside. Kangaroos! Koalas! Snakes! (Though, honestly, my grief would be controllable if we didn't see any snakes.)
It’s a BIG hike and I would be very grateful for your support along the way. Moral support and, if it’s something you’re interested in doing, financial. Any money I raise will go towards seed projects in Malawi, a country labelled ‘alarming’ on the Global Hunger Index.
My fundraising page is here: http://www.everydayhero.com.au/eithne (this site lets you sponsor using a credit card from outside Australia …)
And for more information about hike4hunger see: http://www.hike4hunger.org/
[All pictures are from last year's hike up Table Mountain.]