The teachers and students at Tubarere Nursery and Primary School, founded in Rwamagana in eastern Rwanda in the heart of Africa, by Scottish Charity, Aid for Education, are committed to start planting trees from the charity's women’s tree project as a result of our partnership with this inspiring charity.

The school has land, which had trees but they were cut down before the school was built . 

Many people in Rwanda still use wood or charcoal for cooking which contributes to one of the environmental challenges facing the country. The headteacher told the students that it is important that they plant trees again at the school to provide a long-term solution to fight deforestation. The teachers want to teach students to plant trees and learn more about climate change and the main cause of it. The teachers believe that getting the students to plant trees could be the way for them to become part of the solution. 

The trees planted at the school will provide environmental education and encourage young children to think about environmental conservation. It is important for the students to participate and understand how to protect the environment and then remind their parents how important it is to plant trees. 

Through our tree-planting partnership with Aid for Education which began in January 2024, the teachers and students have planted 96 trees so far, more than what was expected.

International Women’s Day Challenge 2024 #IWD2024

International Women’s Day 2024 

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women which is celebrated annually on 8 March. 

The campaign theme of International Women’s Day 2024 is #InspireInclusion.

What is the International Women's Day Challenge 2024?

Starting on International Women’s Day on 8 March 2024, we’ll be walking/running 7,000 miles in just 6 weeks all the way from Inverclyde to the top of the world - Everest Base Camp in Nepal. We’ll be tracking our progress virtually online.

Through our challenge, we plan to celebrate International Women’s Day 2024 in a practical way by raising funds to support Greenock-based charity, Aid for Education, which helps some of Rwanda's poorest children and their families who have no access to education, basic medical care or shelter.

Aid for Education

Aid for Education is a small, volunteer-led local charity based in Inverclyde, Scotland. 

Founded in 2010, Aid for Education helps transform the lives of impoverished children and communities in Eastern Rwanda. With limited resources, this inspirational charity has:

  • Built Tubarere Nursery and Primary School since 2017 which now provides education to around 300 children;

  • Set up a farming cooperative to provide women with the opportunity to earn money to look after their families and take on leadership roles and make decisions over the profits generated from their collective agriculture efforts; and

  • Established a microfinance initiative, targeted to women who have no income, to provide a sustainable way of helping families earn some money and reduce poverty in the community. 

Our Fundraising Goal

Our goal is to raise £2,000 towards the cost of buying a minibus for our Tubarare Nursery and Primary School. 

Many of the children who now attend the school have to walk a long distance from their homes in the surrounding villages each day, often arriving late to school or not all during the rainy season.

How to Register to Take Part

Signing up to take part is easy. Simply go to iwd.bigteamchallenge.com to register.  Once you have registered you will create or join a team and get ready for the challenge to start.

Note: If you have a Big Team Challenge account already use your existing logins. There is a 'Forgotten Password?' link on the login page if you need to use it.

Creating Your Own Team

For this challenge you can either create your own team or join an existing team. Teams can have up to five members. 

When you create your team you will be able to choose between requiring people to be invited to join your team (invite-only teams) or allowing people to join your team without needing to be invited. If you’d like to take part on your own, you can create your own ‘invite-only’ team and simply not invite anyone to join you. When the challenge starts, all of the teams will be working together to get everyone across the finish line at Everest Base Camp.

To find out more about creating your team click here.

Once the Challenge Starts: Adding Your Distances

Once the challenge starts on Friday 8 March 2024, you can add the distances you walk or run manually or you can automatically track your progress using your Fitbit, Garmin, Apple HealthKit (iOS only) and Health Connect (Android only) (both of these are available via the Big Team Challenge app). Doing so means your activity will sync every time you open the app, so make sure you do that every day or so.

If you wish to use Fitbit, Garmin, Apple HealthKit or Health Connect it’s a good idea to connect your device before the challenge begins so you can hit the ground running.

You can find out how to sync your device and track your steps by clicking here.

Mobile Apps

The Big Team Challenge app is available for iPhone and Android. Simply use the challenge address iwd.bigteamchallenge.com when prompted on the first screen. You will only need to enter iwd. The rest of the challenge address is prefilled. 

During the Challenge

Once the challenge begins, it’s time to start tracking your activity. 

You can start inputting your distances from 12.01 A.M. on Friday 8 March 2024.

As everyone tracks their activity, we will progress along the virtual route to Everest Base Camp and the challenge map will show where, collectively, we have reached along the route.

Donating Towards Our Fundraising Target

You can donate at any time via the Just Giving page set up by Aid for Education for this challenge. Please share this link with your friends. 

If you are a UK taxpayer you can Gift Aid your donation which means that for every pound you give, the charity can claim an extra 25 pence from HMRC, helping your donation go further.

If You Need Help With Anything

Happy New Year everyone. We hope 2024 is a joyous, healthy and peaceful year for you all.

Thanks to everyone who used World Walking last year and to our generous donors who helped keep us going in 2023.



Walk More - Plant More

Each time we curate a new walk we’re reminded how beautiful our world is and how vital it is that we each do what we can to help protect our precious planet.

Which is why we're delighted to introduce our new Walk More - Plant More tree-planting initiative in partnership with fellow Scottish charity, Aid for Education. This initiative will support 9 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

Our Goal 

Through this joint initiative, we will begin planting one native tree for every 10,000 miles walked by our global community of World Walkers. 

Our goal is to plant 1,000 trees.

Where will our trees be planted?

Our trees will be planted in and around the village of Rwamanaga in Eastern Rwanda where Aid for Education operates.

Why plant trees?

Trees are one of the most powerful weapons in the fight against climate change. They are nature’s ultimate carbon capture and storage machines, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, releasing oxygen and locking up the carbon in their fibres.

           

Aid for Education is a volunteer-led charity based in Greenock, Scotland, (near to where World Walking is based) which raises funds in the UK to support its partner, Children Might Foundation, a registered Rwandan charity based in the Eastern Province of Rwanda, in providing relief, shelter, and aid to families in the east of the country and assisting children in accessing education who would otherwise be unable to afford it. 

The charity operates in and around the village of Rwamanaga, located some 30 miles east of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.

Why link with Aid for Education?

Working closely with the community, in conjunction with Children Might Foundation, Aid for Education  has developed a number of successful projects, including a women’s farming cooperative, the 'Abagore Farming Project' ('Abagore' means 'women'), which was set up to give women the opportunity to earn money to look after their families and build hope in the community. 

The women grow different crops at the farm such as vegetables, maize and passion fruit with the profits being split equally at the end of the year. 

Most of the trees around Rmanagama have been cut for firewood or to make charcoal. Concerned by the dangers of not having enough trees in the future to combat the constant threats from climate change, the women at the farming project came up with the idea of planting trees as a long-term solution to fight deforestation.

The Abagore Farming Project’s Tree Planting Programme

The Abagore tree planting programme is unique because it is driven and managed almost entirely by the women themselves. 

Over 4,000 young trees have been grown in the nursery beds so far, mostly native Grevillea trees which are commonly planted with food crops because they are fast growing and do not compete too much with other plants for water. 

Most of the young trees have been distributed to people in Rwamagana and the surrounding villages who showed an interest in planting trees to replenish the dwindling tree stocks. Seedlings are also sold to local businesses and individuals in the wider community, generating additional revenue to support future tree planting activities. 

The trees planted help improve soil fertility, reduce soil erosion and boost local biodiversity by attracting birds, bees, etc. 

Working With Schools

Additionally, this industrious team of women plan to invite local schools to take part in their tree planting programme to help the young people better understand the importance of planting trees to protect their communities and forests for the future.

Tubarere Nursery and Primary School in Rwamagana, which Aid for Education founded in 2017, has bought some trees and planted them around the school, including some fruit trees which means the students can enjoy nutritious fruit. Other trees planted will help to break the wind during the rainy season, both protecting the school and the environment.

Planting World Walking's Own Forest

The women also plan to grow a small forest of native trees on a plot of land near their farm as an example for the local villages of what can be achieved. They intend to plant native plants such as acacia, which is renowned for its resilience to drought, as well as fruit trees, such as mango, papaya and avocado trees, to provide food and income for their families .

This forest will be planted with trees from our Walk More - Plant More initiative. Imagine - World Walking's own little forest!

Please join us and help us smash our target of planting 1,000 trees and help the amazing team of women at the Abagore Farming Cooperative help their families, their community and our planet.

World Walking is 10 years old!

We can hardly believe it ourselves but it’s true. World Walking celebrated its 10th birthday on 1st October 2023. 

It seems no time at all since we launched our free platform for anyone to use, anytime, anywhere. We had absolutely no idea if anyone would use it but, thankfully, they did.  We just hoped that somehow we’d survive but we did, thanks, in part, to our kindhearted users who donated to help us going. 

And here we are, 10 years old; almost penniless, feeling the effects of the last 10 years but excited by the possibilities of the road ahead and looking forward optimistically to the new decade.  

Thank you to everyone who has used World Walking and helped us keep going. 

Here are a few facts and figures from our report card. 

Doing what it says on our tin!

Helping others makes us happy. 

We're delighted to have helped raise more money for charity than it cost to develop World Walking and run it throughout the past 10 years. 


World Walking’s Mid-Year Report for 2023/24

Our wonderful World Walkers have been busy!









We only recently discovered 'World Walking Day', organised each year by The Association for International Sport for All (TAFISA) and which, by a remarkable coincidence, is held annually on 1st October, our charity's birthday. 

It was too good a chance to pass up so we took part in World Walking Day 2023, posting messages on TAFISA's WhatsApp group and on Twitter. From our World Walking database we were able to see that 2,467 people added steps to their virtual walks on our online platform on World Walking Day. The total distance added was 30,924 miles, equivalent to walking 1.2 times round the world.

Now that we know of this terrific annual event, we'll try and come up with something for next year. 



Happy New Year everyone. We hope 2023 is a joyous, healthy and peaceful year for you all.

Thanks to everyone who used World Walking last year and to our generous donors who helped keep us going in 2022.





Seven years ago, on 16 September 2015 to be precise, we wrote to the then Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport at the Scottish Government to tell her about our bespoke World Walking website/app which we had created to help motivate people to walk more and of our dream of seeing its users walk 50 million miles to Mars. 

We are sure the Cabinet Secretary thought us quite mad and we wouldn’t have blamed her. When we wrote to her, only 6,900 people had found World Walking on the internet. The ‘global’ steps tally on our home page, stood at 2.6 billion which, in World Walking terms, was about 1.1 million miles. Aiming for Mars seemed like a gigantic leap of faith but we were inspired by the words of Britain’s first astronaut, Dr Helen Sharman, who told us to “Aim high. Land Softly.” .

Seven years on, we are delighted to tell you that World Walking ‘landed softly’ on Mars on 22 December 2022. 

Lift Off

World Walking was launched on 1 October 2013. It is free to use by anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Our simple and fun approach motivates people to keep active by allowing them to use the steps they walk everyday to complete virtual walks to some of the best places on Earth, many of which are, of course, in Scotland. 

World Walking was inspired by the Inverclyde Globetrotters, a gym-based Phase IV cardiac rehabilitation class based at Inverclyde Leisure’s Waterfront Complex in Greenock. 

In February 2008, with only a map, a box of pedometers, a sense of adventure and a skip in their step, the Inverclyde Globetrotters set off to walk round the world in support of the 2008 Scottish campaign to highlight the importance and benefits of cardiac rehabilitation. It was their way of saying ‘Thank You’ to the NHS.

[Little did the Inverclyde Globetrotters know when they took their first steps that 238,855 miles and 11 years, 3 months and 10 days later that their ‘travels’ would see them touching down on the Moon on 14 May 2019 in nice time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 Moonwalk in 1969.] 

Our Journey

World Walking’s journey to Mars has taken us only 3,370 days (9 years, 2 months and 22 days) to complete and it has been a lot of fun. Over the years we have met many interesting and kind-hearted people who have encouraged us to keep going and shared with us their stories of how they have used World Walking.

Along our long journey, World Walking has:

  • Attracted users in over 100 countries and in all 50 U.S. states, including  individuals, families, the NHS, community groups, schools, colleges, universities, churches, charities and workplaces; and
  • Helped raise more money for charity than it cost to develop it. 

With Grateful Thanks

World Walking would never have got off the ground, never mind been able to sustain its almost decade-long, zero-carbon mission, without:

  • Our amazing online community of world walkers. 

Some activity facts and figures:

Distance Walked

50 million miles (117.3 billion steps)

Average Distance Walked Per Day

14,836 miles (34.8 million steps)

Number of Virtual Walks Completed

69,190

World Walking User Accounts Created

193,430

Average Number of New Users Per Day          

57

  • The talented and kind-hearted Glasgow-based digital design team of David Rushton (Web Developer), Chris Baldie (Graphic Designer), Michael Park (iOS Developer) and Fergus Howe (Android Developer) at Papertank Ltd./Team Challenge Apps. Ltd. who brought an idea to life in the most wonderful way. Finding them was our luckiest break and changed everything.

Some recent technical facts and figures:

Lines of Code Written for Our Bespoke System          

78,740

Database Size

49 GB

Number of Distances Added To Virtual Walks

4.15 million

Number of Sync Jobs from Fitbit

319 million

iOS App Downloads

104,000

In the Last 30 Days:

  • Unique Visitors to World Walking

72,700

  • Web Requests

9.28 million

  • Data Served

154 GB

  • The much appreciated donations from individual supporters and the support we have received locally through CVS Inverclyde, the Inverclyde Community Fund, the Inverclyde Health & Social Care Partnership and, most especially, Inverclyde Council whose grants which have, quite simply, enabled our little charity to keep going. 

Some financial facts and figures:

Total Cost of World Walking 2013-22:

£92,560

  • Non-Recurring Development Costs       

£66,160

  • Revenue Costs

£26,400

Average Total Cost Per Year

£10,000

Average Revenue Cost Per Year

£2,850

Average Total Cost Per Day

£27.30

Average Revenue Cost Per Day

£7.80

Average Total Cost Per 1,000 Miles

£1.85

Source of Funding:

  • Grants

66%

  • Donations

34%

We will be changing course in 2023. It turns out that the average distance between Earth and Mercury is only 56.9 million miles so we thought we might as well swing by since we’re in the neighbourhood.

World Walking came about simply because a small group of people with heart health issues went for a walk and that is what is great about walking; you don’t always know where you’ll end up, what you’ll find round the next bend or who you’ll meet along the way but one thing is for sure, you’ll feel the better for it

Best Wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year.

Duncan

Founder - World Walking