Lawyers embark on Ethiopia trek to support child protection

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DLA Piper solicitor Brodie Williams will fly to Ethiopia tomorrow, where she will join 49 DLA colleagues climbing Mount Bawahit to raise funds for UNICEF’s child justice programs.

Williams, who has worked on a UNICEF pro bono project researching Bangladeshi child marriage, said she jumped at the opportunity to do the gruelling nine day trek, trekking 10 hours each day.

“I didn’t even think twice,” she recalled.

“I think it’s a great way to challenge myself physically, emotionally, mentally and also to really give back and really help children that are in need.”

With a global fundraising target for the team of 50 set at £185,000, Williams had to find creative ways to fundraise, this week putting on a fashion show for the firm and clients raising over $1700.

“We had a performance by a traditional African band,” she said.

“They came in with all their drums and performed traditional dances alongside the models.”

Getting people together has been a huge focus for Williams throughout the process, also fundraising by cooking lunch for the whole office then sharing a meal together.

In training for the trek, Williams hit the gym everyday doing steep incline walking weights and Bikram yoga.

While the preparations have been intense, Canberra based Williams said she was able to meet a Sydney colleague halfway to train on weekends.

“Since we’ve both been involved, we’ve decided to meet up between Canberra and Sydney and go on long walks on the weekend,” she said.

“It’s been a great way to really bond with colleagues in other offices.”

DLA Piper has been a global partner of UNICEF since 2013, providing pro bono assistance to charity’s global child justice program.

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