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‘Walk Around The World’ fund-raiser joins two continents

The Kerry Jon Walker Fund, a nonprofit founded by a Hull woman to honor her son’s memory, is holding “Walk Around The World,” a one-month challenge taking place in May to raise money for its mission to support people affected by poverty.

The symbolic “challenge” is for the combined efforts of participants to reach 24,901 miles, the circumference of the earth.

“You can sponsor someone, form a group, or sponsor yourself,” said founder Mikey Walker, former head of Old Colony Montessori school in Hingham. Supporters can register at the fund’s website, thekerryfund.org, log the miles they walk and contribute the donations they’ve received.

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Established a decade ago to create opportunities for young people from economically disadvantaged communities to experience life in other cultures, the Kerry Jon Walker Fund sends American teenagers to African villages to bring aid and assistance there and learn about another culture. The fund is named for Walker’s son, who passed away at the age of 20.

According to the fund, its material assistance has brought 3,000 pounds of books, maps and educational materials, plus school uniforms to village schools in Africa. The American students are also encouraged to take their lessons back home and be active in their own communities.

The nonprofit decided to hold “Walk Around the World” this year after the pandemic made planning an indoor fund-raising event impossible. Walking made sense, Walker said, “because we can’t have an event indoors and we want to get people outdoors. It’s just sort of cool to collect cumulative miles.”

Money raised will be used to sponsor a trip in 2022 by a previously chosen group of young people who could not be sent abroad during the pandemic, plus an additional group selected this year.

Walker is currently the head of Desert Montessori School in Santa Fe, N.M., while working at home. Her thoughts on possible expansion of the fund’s work include a program for young people’s cultural learning “in their own backyard.”

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Robert Knox can be reached at rc.knox2@gmail.com.