Hike supports education fund

Nanaimo team Educated Women for Educating Girls will hike Auger Point Traverse in Strathcona Park to raise funds for Plan Canada.

Nanaimo hikers are mounting a fundraising effort to help educate girls in developing nations.

The team Educated Women for Educating Girls is planning a four-day trek at Strathcona Provincial Park’s Auger Point Traverse this month, to help pay for scholarships for girls in developing countries.

This is the second time the group has climbed for the cause, which sees dollars distributed through Plan Canada and the not-for-profit’s Because I am a Girl campaign. In 2013, the team hiked Mt. Albert Edward, generating $10,655. This year, it’s looking to donate $12,000.

Mary Thiess, who will go on the four-day hike, said she joined the effort because it seemed like a good cause and a reason to work together.

“I think it’s been proven that if women are educated … they turn around and invest their skills back in their community and their families,” Thiess said. “It’s sort of a big payback when you invest a little.”

Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl initiative is a global campaign to promote girls’ rights and equality through projects tied into education, health, water and sanitation. Scholarships provide girls with schooling, uniform and materials for a year, as well as the chance to break out of a cycle of poverty, according to Sarah Muir, community engagement specialist for Plan Canada, who said for every year a girl stays in school her income rises by 15 per cent.

Nanaimo’s Educated Women for Educated Girls will hike Aug. 21-24. Every dollar they raise will be tripled by Plan Canada’s partners. For more, please visit www.plancanada.ca/educatedwomen.

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