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International Cooperation Campaign – “Walk in Her Shoes 2014”


© CARE International Japan

© CARE International Japan

If a tap is turned on, safe water flows continuously. For those of us living in Japan, such an occurrence seems rather mundane. What if we had to walk long distances to obtain water? What if we had to waste many hours each day when doing so? What would happen then to the lives we lead?

In developing countries, to obtain the water and fuel required to live, on average people each day have to walk approximately 6 kilometers (or take about 8,000 steps). In many instances, responsibility for such tasks falls to women and girls. Accordingly, girls sometimes cannot attend school, or gain access to necessary healthcare services. Many women are in danger of losing the opportunity to participate socially in that they are unable to support their households economically, etc. Furthermore, such circumstances prevent the independence of women confronted with such realities, and this, in turn, can be linked to their falling into poverty.

© CARE International Japan

© CARE International Japan

Starting on International Women's Day on March 8th, and lasting for approximately four months, "CARE International Japan," a public interest incorporated foundation that focuses on support activities to alleviate the plight of women and children in developing countries, will hold a charity walk campaign entitled; "Walk in Her Shoes." While giving participants the opportunity to actually walk a distance equivalent to the 8,000 to 10,000 steps that are taken by women and girls each day in developing countries as they carry water and fuel, the campaign will also offer participants an opportunity to consider the realities and issues directly confronting people in developing countries. Part of the participation fees raised by the campaign will be used as donations to support women and children in developing countries.

There is the English saying, "to be in one's shoes." It means to stand in place of another and view the world from their perspective. From people who have participated in the "Walk in Her Shoes" campaign in previous years, the following feedback has been received: "In walking 8,000 steps, I didn't realize that it would be so physically demanding or that it would take so long to achieve." "I would like to clearly explain this issue to my children. In the future, I want them to possess a basic consciousness of what they might achieve for the benefit of the world around them."

© CARE International Japan

© CARE International Japan

This year is the third "Walk in Her Shoes" campaign, it will run from March 8th (Saturday) through to June 30th (Sunday), 2014. Registration to participate shall be possible through the CARE International Japan website. Individual participation or participation as a team is OK. Persons wanting to participate at their own pace might like to contribute the time they spend commuting to work and school, or the time they spend shopping, etc., to the campaign. Persons wanting to take up a challenge might consider walking with school friends or work colleagues on their days off.

Furthermore, on March 8th (Saturday), to commemorate the 2014 campaign, the "International Women's Day Charity Walk" will be held. At this event in the Tokyo city area starting from the Imperial Palace, passing by Ueno Park, and ending up in Asakusa, the walking trainer, Akemi Fukumura, and the model, Ai Garan, will be participating. Both women have been appointed as ambassadors from this year for the "Walk in Her Shoes" campaign. We look forward to the participation of both people who want to enjoy walking while interacting with others; and those interested in thinking about international cooperation.

Please note, applications to participate in the "International Women's Day Charity Walk" on March 8th must be received by midday on March 7th (Friday). Furthermore, applications to participate in the "Walk in Her Shoes 2014" charity campaign will commence on March 8th (Saturday). Please refer to the CARE International Japan website for more details.

CARE International Japan: http://www.careintjp.org/index_e.html