Falls Road Primary teacher and her Trek for Girls Nepal 2015

Stephanie Briggs with some of her students at the Lesmurdie school.Picture: Marie Nirme           d445024
Stephanie Briggs with some of her students at the Lesmurdie school.Picture: Marie Nirme         d445024

FALLS Road Primary teacher Stephanie Briggs will celebrate her 30th birthday trekking the Himalayan foothills of Nepal for a cause close to her heart.

The first-time charity trekker is the only WA representative in a challenge to help rebuild the country that was devastated by earthquakes.

Trekkers also want to raise awareness of female poverty and empower girls to transform their lives.

Ms Briggs, of Koongamia, said the international component behind Trek for Girls Nepal 2015 had identified eight barriers to girls in Third World countries.

Among the many disadvantages are child marriage, gender-related violence and less value placed on girls’ education.

Her 14-day adventure through the mountain villages of Annapurna began last Friday, with some treks lasting up to 10 hours a day.

Prior to leaving, she spoke of her excitement at joining the Plan Australia component. The group is calling for action to stop one in three girls around the world being denied an education.

“As a teacher, I know how powerful an education can be. All children, no matter where they are from or whether they’re a boy or a girl, deserve the same right to an education,” Ms Briggs said.

As a team, the group has raised more than $83,000 so far towards its Because I’m a Girl campaign.

Ms Briggs pledged to raise $3500, and she would like to beat her personal target of $6000.

Trek preparations have involved strength and endurance building with a personal trainer, gym workouts three to four times a week and uphill hikes along the Railway Heritage Trail.

“As I will be turning 30 on this trek, I want to do something I can be proud of,” Ms Briggs said.

“I hope to be a positive role model for my students and also create ties between my school and a school in Nepal, fostering global citizenship and meaningful learning for both.”

Future learning may include setting up a pen pal program, fundraising campaign and enriching the lives of children by making them aware of the poverty, injustices and inequalities in other countries.

To make a contribution, visit Stephsnepaltrek on Facebook.