I Believe: Spirit and Unity Walk for Water

Purchasing a t-shirt
Thank you to our sponsors and volunteers!
On May 11, 2013, over 200 people - students and families, teachers, individuals - from over 30 schools and community groups, walked the trails at the Locust Grove Nature Center in Cabin John Park.  They came together in spirit and unity for the people of the Azawak of West Africa.  

Over $7,000 was raised to help Amman Imman build permanent water sources and support food, economic, women's empowerment, health and sanitation projects.   

Kamel Zennia and Hadesh Walet Mahmoud
In the 7 years that Amman Imman has sponsored A Walk for Water, this is the first year of a new tradition: a festival  before the opening ceremony and the 3 mile walk.  Kamel Zennia and Hadesh Walet Mahmoud brought us the music of the desert.  Andrew Kutt played his song, "May the Water Flow (for the Azawak)".  Indigenous crafts and jewelry from our Nigerien borehole villages were for sale.  Activities to educate children and adults about water scarcity and Amman Imman's work were ongoing. A live social networking event, #pledgeforwater, happened on the spot.   

People of all ages
But what was most inspiring were the people.  On a bleak cloudy rainy day, people streamed into the Locust Grove fire pit area to take a stand for the people of the Azawak.   

They came for different reasons. Families who enjoy hiking  came out. Students who needed service learning credit attended, and brought their siblings and parents. Their teachers came as well. Volunteers who help every year at A Walk for Water returned again. Both public and private school families showed up.

But each person who came onto the field that day had something in common: a commitment to social action. Whether or not they purchased a t-shirt or actively took the pledge, their participation declared:  I believe water is a human right. 

They walked through the mud and in the rain because they cared enough to take a stand for all the people of the world, and to help the people of the Azawak gain the opportunity of this most essential need.

What is it like to carry your water?
Activities and Booths
Pledge for Water #pledgeforwater
"A Walk with Water" - Participants pulled a "jerry can" filled with water out of a "well", and carried it a certain distance to experience what it might feel like to have to carry water everyday.

Pledge for Water - People snapped their photo with a sign that said "I believe every person deserves clean drinking water".  Then, they sealed their pledge for water by uploading the photo to Instagram with the tag #pledgeforwater. Take the pledge yourself!

Friendship Exchange - Children from the villages of Kijigari and Couloubade shared their lives through drawings of animals, people and how they get their water. Some drawings showed life in their village now that they have a borehole.

The Friendship Exchange -
drawings from children in Kijigari and Couloubade
A Gift from the Azawak - Everyone who raised $100 or more received a special gift, a handmade craft from an artisan in Kijigari village.

T-shirts and Merchandise - Tuareg jewelry and crafts, a new t-shirt, and Amman Imman merchandise were for sale.

Global Water Discovery Expedition -  Students were given a
Global Water Discovery Expedition
booklet with questions about water scarcity in the Azawak, the global water crisis and Amman Imman's projects.  As they walked the trail they discovered the answer on posters along the trail. Go on the adventure yourself! 

A Hero of Compassion
Hero of Compassion certificate - Upon completion of the Walk, students received a certificate recognizing their effort and their compassion.

Home made lemonade, and Tuareg crafts and jewelry
Refreshments - My Organic Market, Starbucks and Ize's Deli and Bagelry gave us great refreshments.  But the best came from Ethan Waxman who brought home-baked goods and fresh squeezed lemonade. The proceeds, benefiting Amman Imman, came to $68! 

Our partners
Reel Water Film Festival - On June 15 at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club, the Reel Water Film Festival will highlight films about water.  Our short film, "Thank you, Merci, Tanimert" will be featured.

Oneness-Family School - OFS is dedicated to peace and to the personal growth of each individual.  After Ariane's visit to OFS in 2006, the Wells of Love program was born, inspiring a social action movement in support of the Azawak among Montessori schools worldwide.

Thank you to all the volunteers, teachers, 
parents, students and sponspors who made 
A Walk for Water an amazing event!

Photo credits: Sarah and Samantha


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