A Journey of Healing resumes

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Julie Macklin receives an achievement award for her efforts from Dan Ryder, principal of colony schools, at Palliser's banquet Thursday.

The battle to prevent child sexual  abuse continues, and so will Julie Macklin’s efforts to raise greater awareness and funds for the cause.

The Palliser teacher will resume “A Journey of Healing” this Saturday, June 17 to raise awareness and support for the Southern Alberta Children Advocacy Center.  Her walk from County Central School in Vulcan to Palliser Regional Schools’ Central Office in Lethbridge in late September of 2016 was cut short due to injury.

Macklin’s 100-kilometre trek ended at the halfway point at Barons, after she suffered an ankle injury. She was unable to resume the trip earlier because concerns over the weather and the safety impact of shorter daylight hours.

Her ankle is better, and while she had hoped to continue the journey earlier this spring, Macklin wanted to get in some conditioning time and get report cards and some other necessities out of the way first. She will be taking precautions to avoid some of the factors which may have contributed to her earlier injury.

Macklin, who was recognized at Palliser’s retirement and staff achievement banquet Thursday, plans to begin the 50-km walk from Barons about 6 a.m. Saturday. She hopes to arrive at the SACAC office at Lethbridge Centre mall before 5 p.m.

Macklin has set up a Go Fund Me account, where donations can be made to SACAC, at https://www.gofundme.com/sacac-awareness-walk-and-fundraiser

Macklin teaches art at several of Palliser’s Hutterite colony schools and she will create a piece of art, based on her experiences during the walk, for display at the SACAC office at a later date.

The Southern Alberta Children Advocacy Center is modelled after the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre in Calgary. It is a one-stop shop for victims of abuse and their families and brings together a range of human services including law enforcement and mental health.

Palliser Regional Schools has been an early and ongoing supporter of the center. Pat Rivard, Associate Superintendent Education Services, is co-chair of the committee which initiated the inception of the advocacy center.

You can follow Macklin’s journey through postings on her Twitter account, @greywalks, or through her Facebook page.