by Alan Hodge
Getting water in America for bathing, cooking or any of thousands of other uses is as simple as turning on a faucet. In some parts of the world, however, getting those precious drops of water can involve not only a grueling hike but lugging a day’s worth of it back home in a bucket or jug.
A group of Huntersville residents got together Saturday, March 26, and took part in a fundraising walk where they carried jugs of water to raise money for women and children in Ethiopia who struggle every day to procure the basics of life.
Saturday’s benefit walk was part of a larger effort by the international Glimmer of Hope organization to provide clean water, as well as schools, sanitation facilities, financial aid and health clinics to women and children in rural Ethiopia.
Laurie Watson helped put together Saturday’s benefit walk. She got involved with Glimmer of Hope when friends who had adopted Ethiopian children started a campaign to raise $15,000 to dig three wells in the village of Chuko Weyama.
“When my friends told me about it I wanted to jump on board to help them raise part of the funds,” Watson said. “I set a personal goal to raise $2,000.”
Besides raising money, Watson also wanted Saturday’s benefit walk participants to at least get a sample of what many rural Ethiopians deal with to get water.
“I knew that the experience of walking those miles was going to talk to us so much louder than just hearing or reading about the daily water struggle that people in Ethiopia have to deal with,” Watson said.
About 30 people took part in the walk. They started at Watson’s home on Pristine Court early Saturday morning and struck out on along Wynfield Creek Parkway.
The destination was a water source two miles from the Watson home. Once there, they filled jugs with water and turned back home – not an easy task considering that a gallon of water weighs just more than 8 pounds.
Six-year-old Will Watson carried his own load.
“It felt like my hands were going to fall off,” Will said.
Some folks driving past the group gawked, while others pulled over and gave them donations, Geoff Watson, Will’s dad, said.
The water that they carried was put to practical use for the rest of the day.
“We didn’t bathe, do laundry or wash many dishes,” Laurie Watson said. “We mainly used the water we carried home for drinking, hand and face washing, our pets, and brushing our teeth. Our four-year-old, Noah, thought it was a fun game. The amount of water we used wasn’t a huge issue, but the lack of easy access was. I was reminded how thankful I am for the luxuries we have such as clean water.”
Want to help?
Saturday’s benefit water walk raised $1,500. To make a donation, visit www.aglimmerofhope.org/campaign/waterwalk. For more information visit www.aglimmerofhope.org