By: Dali Carmichael

Alana Awad was one of about 200 students who counted their steps with a pedometer for the Walk in Her Shoes Fundraiser on March 8.

At least 200 culinary students donned pedometers and counted their steps for International Women’s Day on March 8. They were participating in Walk in Her Shoes, a campaign organized by CARE Canada which aims to create awareness of the issues women face in developing countries.

Ten per cent of Savoir Fare’s revenue from the day was donated to the organization, along with a $500 donation from the School of Hospitality and Tourism. A total of $683.25 was raised and between the staff and students 485,000 steps were counted.

“I do work with CARE through the Canadian Chef’s Federation, which I’m a member of,” said Chef Scott Warrick, who spearheaded the event on campus with the support of the faculty. “We figured we’d try it this way this year to get it rolling and then next year we’ll have a few more ideas of how perhaps we can change things.”

“I think it’s been a really positive response,” said Alana Awad, a first year culinary student who also holds a bachelor’s degree in sexual diversity studies. “It’s International Women’s Day, so people I think are pretty on board to support that kind of thing.”

Culinary arts professor Parick Kostiw pointed out the male-dominated nature of the industry, noting that some students still subconsciously divide the work by gender.

“A day like today gives us a chance to address all those things and hopefully get people thinking about the things that they’re not aware of that they’re actually doing,” he said.

“It’s basically to raise awareness about women in developing countries, who don’t have access to technology or vehicles or anything like that. They’re walking a lot to get basic needs like water, going to the market and having to walk to school,” said Awad. “I know that there is a lot of walking involved, we’re talking miles and miles every day. So, just to get an idea of how much they walk, we’re tracking how much we walk.”

“It’s a fantastic effort from the School of Hospitality and Tourism,” said Darcy Knoll, a representative from CARE. “We’re all super impressed by the fact that they’ve decided to take their time to support CARE on International Women’s day.”

CARE is an international organization that aids over 122 million people in over 84 countries by providing emergency relief and long term solutions for poverty. They focus on helping women and girls by providing access to clean water and sanitation and  maternal, newborn and child healthcare.