Janine Annett has wanted to do something about poverty since she entered elementary school.
Next month, the 15-year-old is indeed going to do something about it when she walks 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, who lives on Quadra Island.
“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 of the million steps she will need to take during the walk.
She will have a support team of people, as well as a trailer donated by her grandfather to sleep in.
“But I promise you I will be walking every step,” she said.
Annett said she’s been aware of poverty issues in the developing world since her Grade 6 visit to Uganda.
Ever since, she’s been researching and doing presentations about poverty.
On Oct. 13, 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.
“That’s for the money I raise personally,” she said.
“I’m hoping to do presentations at schools (along the way) and hoping to get youth involved in their own fundraising event, whether it’s for local or international projects.”
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 brought more than 650 schools and school rooms to youth and provided clean water, health care and sanitation to one million people around the world.
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.”
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.firstname.lastname@example.org