For Six Years, Students Walk, Bring Water and Other Aid to More than 100,000 in West Africa
BETHESDA, MD, May 6, 2013—More than 100,000 people in a remote and increasingly dry area of West Africa have plentiful access to clean water, thanks in part to six annual “Walk for Waters” hosted by the nonprofit organization Amman Imman: Water is Life since 2007.
This year, students and their families will again Walk for Water, for the 7th year, this time at the Locust Grove Nature Center in Bethesda, Maryland’s Cabin John Park, on Saturday, May 11. The Walk will begin at 10 a.m., with registration and a pre-walk Expo opening at 9 a.m.
|Couloubade's water tower|
Construction completed March 2013
The Walks, attended by students mainly from the Washington, DC metro area, have focused attention on the confluence of dire situations affecting West Africa’s Azawak region in Niger—a severe and lengthening drought, extreme poverty, and growing insecurity—and have raised funds for Amman Imman’s humanitarian programs.
Amman Imman has constructed five borehole wells in Niger’s Azawak region. Each borehole well provides water for more than 25,000 people and their animals, including refugees that have poured into the area from Libya and Mali over the last year. The organization, founded and led by a former Fulbright scholar who conducted research in the Azawak, has also brought food aid, livelihood, health and education programs to the region—a place where few other humanitarian organizations work.
Through Amman Imman’s service-learning component, Wells of Love, students of all ages from more than 100 schools have become a driving force behind the organization’s success. These students have raised considerable funds and awareness through the Walks and other self-initiated events. Amman Imman’s most recent partnership with the Montgomery College/Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Collaborative Program, for example, engages English as a Second Language (ESOL) students through the Walk for Water. The event qualifies students for MCPS service learning hours.
Before arriving at the Walk on May 11, many students will have garnered sponsorship donations for their participation. Those donations will directly fund Amman Imman’s programs.
The pre-walk Expo starting at 9 am at Locust Grove will feature live African musicians and indigenous
crafts made by artisans from villages that surround Amman Imman’s borehole
wells. Students will draw water from a
“well” and carry a water-filled container like children in the Azawak do every day
in order to survive. The trail walk will feature an educational question and
answer discovery game about water scarcity and the global water crisis.
|Enjoying the water at the|
Couloubade pumping trials
Participating students will come from schools including: Oneness-Family School, Barrie School, Green Acres School, German School Washington DC, Westland MS, John F. Kennedy HS, Blair HS, Northwood HS, Watkins Mill HS, Seneca Valley HS, BCC HS and Wooten HS. The Silver Spring/Kensington Rotary Club has partnered with Montgomery College/MCPS Collaborative Program for participating ESOL students to receive event t-shirts.
Some of Amman Imman’s partner schools are also hosting their own Walks for Water this year. Aidan Montessori School of Washington, DC hosted a Walk on April 22 and The Boyd School in Chantilly, Virginia, will hold its Walk for Water on May 24.
Walk sponsors include: Oneness-Family School, Watek Engineering Corporation, and YBM Construction. Music will be provided by Algerian artist Kamel Zennia, Malian singer Hadesh Walet Mahmoud and Oneness-Family School’s Andrew Kutt.
Amman Imman: Water is Life is dedicated to saving and improving lives among the world’s most vulnerable and abandoned populations, starting by bringing water to the Azawak of West Africa. The organization serves as a conduit raising awareness among students of all ages and engaging them to take action.
Debra Kahn, Associate Director
Amman Imman: Water is Life
7036 Strathmore Street, #111
Chevy Chase, MD 20815