Hiking the Heysen to help Ugandan kids

ADVENTURE: Murray Bridge woman Dani Dutschke will be solo hiking the Heysen Trail to raise money to help women and children in Uganda.
ADVENTURE: Murray Bridge woman Dani Dutschke will be solo hiking the Heysen Trail to raise money to help women and children in Uganda.

On August 10, Murray Bridge woman Dani Dutschke will begin a 42-day hike from Parachilna to Cape Jervis in a bid to raise money to keep children in Uganda safe while they walk to school.

The 25-year-old will walk 1200km - an average of 28km per day - to raise $16,000, which would buy a van to safely transport children to school and water storage for a women's shelter in Jinja, Uganda.

Her first interaction with the town of Jinja was when she went to Uganda on a university placement, and she met an organisation working in the slums.

She has stayed in touch with people there ever since.

"It impacted me a lot and I wanted to help," she said.

She said in 2019 in the small Danida Village of Uganda, 19 vehicles hit children, four children were involved in accidents which broke their legs or they became disabled, and 20 young girls were sexually harassed on their way to school.

"Kids are walking 30km to and from school a day, and we want to buy the van so they aren't violated on the way to school," she said.

Dani saw this solo hike as an opportunity not only to help other people, but to also overcome her own fears, like camping outdoors alone, and test her limits.

"I'm looking forward to having the freedom to do what I want, waking up when I want and just walk, and being outdoors and experiencing more outside," she said.

"The main reason I'm doing it is to show women they can do anything they set their mind on.

"The challenging part is realising I can do it."

Of all the places she will visit, she was keen to hike through the entire Flinders Ranges.

She has visited most of the places on her map but looked forward to exploring parts only accessible by being on the trail.

For more information about Dani's hike, visit www.danidutschke.com.au