After completing the 152kms West Highland Way in Scotland in 2013 the bug bit and it bit hard. I raised just over R100 000, through donations, sponsors and fundraisers, for Restmount Children’s Holiday Home in Underberg and became a volunteer Group Leader. I entered a photograph taken on the highest point of the West Highland Way into the MacAdventures competition and ended up winning £1 000 to do another walk.
It costs around R25 000 to take groups of 30 children, aged between 7-14 years. Girls and boys go on separate weeks. The money I’ve raised has allowed 4 groups to enjoy a 7-day trip to the mountains for holiday respite care. Personally I have taken part in 3 of those groups. All Group Leaders and helpers are volunteers.
Although it is 7 days working 24/7: entertaining, cooking, consoling and supervising outings, my outlook on life has done a 180° turn. I have realized that all children really need is to be loved, recognised and given hope. My reward is seeing the pure joy and delight as these children, some who have never been on holiday, let alone one in the mountains, experience the exhilaration of climbing mountains, swimming in rivers, playing games and making new friends. THAT is my motivation to do another walk. A purpose to raise more funds to allow more groups to experience a week away from their trauma and circumstances, to be given 3 solid meals a day and plenty of exercise and fresh air.
I also realized that you don’t have to be a super athlete to make a difference – you just need a reason. I thank my 3 good friends for taking up the challenge and playing by my motto:
“Every Achievement Starts with the Decision to Begin”.
I now walk to make a difference in a child’s life