Kelowna students run to help provide water for Africans

Kelowna students raise money to help provide clean drinking water in Ethiopia

Students at Black Mountain Elementary School got insight on how far some young people in Ethiopia have to travel to collect a necessity of life that many in the developed world take for granted—water.

The school held a Run For Water on Wednesday, part of a year-long fundraising effort by the school to collect money to help provide clean drinking water for people in remote parts of the African nation.

The 425 participating students ran as many one-kilometre loops around the school as they could, in an effort to match the six kilometre distance that Ethiopians have to travel to collect water.

“It really gives the kids (at the school) an understanding of what children elsewhere have to do,” said Adrian Zuyderduyn, vice-principal at Black Mountain Elementary.

On Wednesday, the entire school—students, teachers and staff—participated in the run. And for every loop completed, students received individually coloured wrist bracelets to mark each kilometre run.

Zuyderduyn said the run was part of a fundraising effort by the school that has already raised $8,000—$3,000 more than the original goal. The new goal is $10,000.

The amount raised so far will provide water for 180 people in Ethiopia for the rest of their lives.

“That’s because of what you have done,” said Mel Dick, the bother of Black Mountain Elementary teacher Gwen Dick and an official with the Run for Water, a charity based in Abbotsford that help provide water for those in need in remote areas of Africa.

In addition to the run on Wednesday, students have been raised money by collecting pledges, holding assemblies and spirit days and hosting fundraising sales.

Madison Sandor, a Grade 4 student at Black Mountain Elementary who participated in the run said she was happy to do so because it means kids at her school could help other, less-fortunate children in another part of the world.

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