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Janine walks the walk for poverty

Janine Annett will walk the length of Vancouver Island beginning next week. - Photo by Alistair Taylor
Janine Annett will walk the length of Vancouver Island beginning next week.
— image credit: Photo by Alistair Taylor

Janine Annett has wanted to do something about poverty since she entered elementary school.

Next week, she’s going to do something about it. She’s going to walk the length of Vancouver Island to raise money and awareness.

“I just think poverty is a huge deal,” said the Grade 9 Campbell River student. “If North Americans stopped buying ice cream, we could stop child poverty. That’s how easy we could stop it.”

Annett is going to do more than just stop buying ice cream and donating the money to poverty causes, she’s going to walk from Port Hardy to Victoria April 3 – May 3 to raise awareness and money for child poverty both locally and globally as well as support youth empowerment.

Annett’s walk is called A Walk for a Wish and her goal is to raise $10,000 which is equal to one penny for every step.

She’s been aware of poverty issues in the developing world since she visited Uganda in Grade 6. Ever since, she’s been researching and doing presentations about poverty. On Oct. 13 last fall, she attended We Day in Vancouver (www.weday.com) where she was inspired to do something “crazy and unrealistic,” she said. We Day brings youth together to show them that they are not alone in their journey to make a difference in their community and around the world.

Annett’s global action will raise money to build a school in Barind Bhilo Ki, India through the organization Free the Children. Free the Children is an international charity dedicated to a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change. Their domestic programs educate, engage and empower hundreds of thousands of youth in North America and the United Kingdom.

Internationally, its Adopt a Village model has brought over 650 schools and school rooms to youth and provided clean water, health care and sanitation to one million people around the world. This helps free children and their families from the cycle of poverty. Learn more about Free the Children at www.freethechildren.com.

Locally, Annett will be taking action against child poverty on Vancouver Island. According to First Call (www.firstcallbc.org), British Columbia’s child poverty rate is still growing. Annett is working with youth on Vancouver Island to organize fundraising events specific to their community and raise awareness about child poverty locally. Youth from across the Island will join her for parts of her walk and collect pledges. She will stop along the way to do presentations at schools and in communities to help educate, inspire and empower youth.

“A Walk for a Wish is about taking action,” Annett said. “It’s about youth being the leaders of today and tomorrow, one step at a time.”

Annett has been preparing for her journey from Port Hardy to Victoria by walking and running in an effort to get in shape for the 20 kilometres a day goal she’s set for herself.

For more information see A Walk for a Wish on facebook. To donate visit her website: http://my.e2rm.com/personalPage.aspx?registrationID=1334430&langPref=en-CA

You can e-mail Annett: at Janineannett.44@gmail.com

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The Week — Jan. 19

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