• The Manly-Manado Walk is giving poverty the flush

    Posted by Vikki

    13 August, 2012

    The 10km ‘Spit-to-Manly Scenic Walkway’, along Sydney’s harbour foreshore, is undoubtedly one of Sydney’s most beautiful walks through the amazing bush land and beaches of the northern beaches. Such beauty has been the backdrop for 1,600 walkers who, over the last seven years, have raised over $186,000 for communities living in Manado, Indonesia by taking part in the annual Manly-Manado Walk (www.thewalk.org.au), organised by my church, Seaforth Baptist.

    In less than four weeks (8th September) the eighth Manly-Manado Walk is looking to raise a further $50,000 for 50 mothers and babies at a Compassion Child Survival Program, which is part of our church partnership with Getsemani Baptist Church in Manado. And the exciting news is that the pastor and his wife and son (who is a doctor at the project and speaking at Voices for Justice) are visiting us for the first time from Manado to take part in the Walk.

    The Walk is much more than a fundraiser. Through our involvement with Micah Challenge, our church has been inspired and encouraged to speak out on behalf of the poor. The Walk has enabled us to reach out into our community to raise awareness of global poverty and to encourage the community to lobby our local federal minister Tony Abbott on behalf of the poor. 

    Vikki visits Compassion's Child Survival Program in Manado, IndonesiaVikki visits Compassion's Child Survival Program in Manado, IndonesiaVikki visits Compassion's Child Survival Program in Manado, IndonesiaThe first Walk in 2005 helped to create an initial awareness of what’s going on in other parts of the world and it also tapped into a general sense that people in our community want to do something for those living in poverty but they often don’t know where to start. People found this really empowering. People in the wider community, not just in the church, could feel they were making a difference and really injecting hope into the situation.

    This year our theme is “Give Poverty the Flush” so at the end of the Walk hundreds of people are being encouraged to join Manly’s longest toilet queue in front of a giant 2m high toilet on the beach. There will be interactive stations along the 10km Walk looking at the global issue of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as well as the related issues the people of Manado are facing, which we witnessed first hand on our recent mission trip to Manado in April.

    A passion for social justice is a strong fibre running through the fabric of Seaforth Baptist. God has led us on a wonderful journey with the people of Manado since we were first part of the Manly-Manado community partnership in 2005. The Walk is a great family community event where the northern beaches unite to take action against poverty. It shows that by all playing our part we can make a difference and help those in need. 

    And the week after the Walk we are straight into Voices for Justice - I think we’ll all be well and truly “warmed up” and ready for more action by then!

    To register for the Manly-Manado walk and start fundraising, visit www.thewalk.org.au.

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    Vikki Howorth is the Missions Pastor at Seaforth Baptist Church and a member of Micah Challenge's National Steering Committee.