BY: NIKKI SCOTT
We all know that bringing clean water to remote villages in Ethiopia is key to the health of thousands of men, women and children. But what we may not realize is that bringing clean water also directly impacts education and empowerment of women and children. I learned this firsthand while working with Run for Water.
Since getting involved four years ago I have run, raised money and had the chance to experience the incredible influence on education that clean water can have. Last fall, I was part of a team of Run for Water runners that raised over $100,000 to provide a new school and water system to the village of Hidri, Ethiopia. In November, we got to visit the community and live with the young girls who would now be able to attend school, instead of walking for hours to fetch water. For the first time, these young women are being taught to set goals and think ahead to a future they wouldn’t have otherwise had.
At Run for Water we know that access to clean water is one of the keys to education in countries like Ethiopia. We also recognize education for global change begins right here in the Lower Mainland. Our Envision Financial Run for Water Education Program has touched thousands of young lives over the past eight years, teaching how anyone, regardless of age, can be a global citizen and make a difference.
Every spring, Run for Water partners with more than 25 schools providing a fully developed clean water curriculum, fundraising support and organized mini runs hosted at each partner school. The response has been incredible with students raising over a half a million dollars toward clean water over the years.
Last year, the schools program raised $78,000 for the community of Caro, Ethiopia which was matched by Valley Pulp & Sawdust Carriers to fund the construction of a new school, bathroom facilities and playground as well as provide clean water to the area. This year, students will be raising money for the neighbouring community of Bobiya where their efforts will provide clean water for more than 5,000 people.
To learn more about the Envision Financial Run for Water Education Program, visit runforwater.ca/educate.