A group of Blue Mountains kids have banded together to take part in the Trek for Timor and help one of Australia’s closest and poorest neighbours.
The 10 kids aged between 10 and 12, and 10 adults have formed four teams of Mountain Kids to enter the 15km fundraising event being held in the Upper Blue Mountains on Saturday, August 25.
Emmagen Cronshaw said she was taking part because: “It’s raising money for East Timor, which isn’t as wealthy a country as Australia is.”
“It’s one of our closest neighbours, and it’s one of the world’s poorest countries, and circumstances are very hard for lots of children there,” Louis Tuason said. “If you live in a small village there are no schools, so you have to travel several hours into the capital just to go to school.”
The teams have been training hard.
“We love doing bushwalks,” Matthew Clyne said. “And also, it’s just really nice to help people.”
“There were some hard bits, but it was fun. We found a frozen pond and had fun picking sheets of ice off the top of it,” Eduardo Escobar said.
Parent Monique Cronshaw took part in the 30km Trek for Timor in 2016 with the Pants of Power team and described the experience as “amazing”. She decided it would be a great cause to support again this year and involve two of her kids and several of their friends and parents.
“The kids have gone out and done quite a few bushwalks together. It’s good for them to learn where we live we are so lucky and it’s good for them to help people in Timor. It’s also good for their mental health and they get fit and it’s about being part of the community,” Mrs Cronshaw said.
On Sunday, August 5, the Mountain Kids held a cake and lemonade stall on Falls Road at Wentworth Falls, raising $820.
Trek for Timor is organised by volunteers from the Blue Mountains community. Trekkers can walk 50km, 30km or 15km to raise sponsorship funds for Hatobuilico, a remote area in rural Timor-Leste.
Funds raised since the first trek in 2010 have totalled more than $200,000 and have funded education and health projects including building a primary school, establishing a senior secondary school and assisting the development of women’s business enterprises.
To donate to Mountain Kids, visit the website www.trekfortimorbm.org.au and click sponsor a team and select Mountain Kids I, II, III or IV.