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Contact: Debra Kahn, Debbie@ammanimman.org, 240.418.1143
LOCAL STUDENTS "WALK FOR WATER" TO SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN NIGER, WEST AFRICA
May 1, 2011 WASHINGTON, DC —Students from local schools will walk around the perimeter of Rock Creek Park’s Lake Frank to raise money and awareness for Amman Imman: Water is Life, a program that has brought clean, sustainable sources of water to more than 75,000 people living in West Africa.
The fifth annual A Walk for Water will be held on Saturday, May 14, starting at 10 a.m. Although the walk will be only a fraction of the distance that many children in Niger’s desert must journey for water, to the students who have been learning about Niger’s water crisis in their classes, the event will symbolize their solidarity with the Nigerien children. It will also raise awareness about how global climate change has affected this region of Niger, called the Azawak Valley.
“The focus of involving students in A Walk for Water is to gather them together in the spirit of collaboration to bring positive change to a place in the world where resources are next to nothing,” said Debra Kahn, director of Amman Imman’s Wells of Love service learning program, which has been coordinating the walks for the past five years.
Extreme poverty coupled with a warming climate has made life in the Azawak Valley increasingly difficult. Currently, the majority of the 500,000 people living in the Azawak region have no water for nine months out of the year due to a lengthening drought, and rising food prices and a lack of arable land doubly compromise their survival. With few schools, health centers and roads, the Azawak Valley has largely been abandoned by the outside world.
Each student garners sponsorships prior to the walk, which support the organization’s effort to dig borehole wells—self-replenishing water sources that reach depths as far as 3,000 feet underground—as well as other sustainability and livelihood programs in the villages located near the borehole wells. Additional walks and other sponsorship events, organized by various schools, are also taking place in Simpsonville, SC, Chantilly, VA and, Chevy Chase, MD, and Washington, DC.
Ariane Kirtley, founder and director of Amman Imman: Water is Life, hopes that each borehole will become an “Oasis of Life” as Amman Imman works with the communities to generate life-sustaining and economic activities. “I hope that our work will serve as a catalyst for humanitarian organizations to bring much-needed developmental aid, such food aid, health care, education and gender equity to the region.”
Amman Imman: Water Is Life is a Washington, D.C.-based organization. To learn more about the organization, visit www.ammanimman.org.
For information about the Walk for Water, visit:https://www.firstgiving.com/ammanimman/Event/awalkforwaterlakefrank
For information about Amman Imman’s collaboration with local schools, visit: http://montessori-amman-imman-project.blogspot.com.