Mission and Vision

Amman Imman's is dedicated to empowering and preserving Africa's most vulnerable indigenous peoples and engaging school children worldwide as socially conscious leaders.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Join our Solidarity Challenge Team, in Solidarity with our Marine Corps Marathon Runners!

Dear Friends of the Azawak,

Last week we published a beautiful and compelling account about the significance of the marathon run to Amman Imman and invited you to run with our 2013 Marine Corps Marathon team. I am delighted to announce that 18 dedicated supporters have joined our Marine Corps Marathon team. To these runners, thank you and good luck as you train for the big day!

I also want to applaud and thank 9-year-old Siena, who has been rallying for Amman Imman since she was in first grade. Alongside her dad, she ran a half marathon this past Sunday, and raised over $3,000 from sponsors to help children her age in the Azawak! Read about Siena's motivation and see her cross the finish line on the Wells of Love blog.

The courage of Siena and our marathon runners has incited me to run in solidarity with them on October 27th, and to launch a worldwide Solidarity Challenge TeamThis team will be composed of supporters from around the world uniting on October 27th by undertaking a significant challenge above and beyond their limit.

I will not be running the Marine Corps Marathon, but instead will be creating my own half- marathon route near my hometown in France. I invite you to choose an activity that challenges you, and tackle it on Solidarity Challenge Day, October 27th. It doesn’t matter where you live: we will be working together, in solidarity with both our marathon team and those journeying marathon distances every day across the Azawak searching for water. Like our marathon runners, our team members will be asked to raise at least $300, thereby helping make a long-lasting impact for the Azawak.

How you can join me and our Solidarity Challenge Team on October 27

Defy your limits! If you aren’t quite ready for a marathon run, there are many other noteworthy and creative challenges you can undertake. No challenge is too small, as long as you are going above and beyond your limit. The importance is that your action has to be significant and challenging for you personally – a goal that won’t be easy, but that you can work toward and look forward to doing with your worldwide “Solidarity Challenge Team” on October 27th, “Solidarity Challenge Day”.

Here are some ideas:
  • Run, bike, swim, hike, or ride your wheelchair a greatly significant distance.
  • Write a song, a play, a poem for the Azawak, and play it, act it, or sing it publically on the 27th (Performers, you can use this as an opportunity to ask for additional sponsorships from passersby)
  • Make a beautiful mural, a painting, or craft honoring our runners and the children of the Azawak, and showcase this artwork on October 27th.  
  • Write a movie for the Azawak and screen it on Solidarity Challenge Day.
  • If you are a doctor, or dentist, or own a business – you can offer free services to the needy on the 27th, and ask your friends to sponsor you.
  • You can carry 6 gallons or more of water on your back or head as you walk for several hours, as our friends do in the Azawak (and not drink any in the process!).  
  • If, like me, you live in the countryside and have neighbors with donkeys (or horses or camels!), you could ride a marathon distance on donkey-back in true solidarity with the children in the Azawak who spend most of their days on their donkeys.  
Let’s get people across the world to join our Solidarity Challenge Team!

No matter where you are in the world, or what you do, you can join our team. Together we can create a worldwide movement for the Azawak in solidarity with our Marine Corps Marathon runners. On top of challenging ourselves, we will come together to show people that even a single day can make a world of difference.

Please sign up here to join our Solidarity Challenge Team! Choose your activity, set up your personal web page to reach out to sponsors, and support our Marine Corps Marathon runners on October 27!

Yours for the Azawak,

Sunday, August 4, 2013

What the Marathon Means for Amman Imman

As the August 7th deadline for registering our 2013 Marine Corps Marathon team fast approaches, we have been able to reflect on what the marathon means to Amman Imman.

Running for water – and the marathon in particular – is a significant event for Amman Imman. Although we have worked in Niger’s Azawak Valley for more than seven years, bringing sustainable water sources to thousands of families, not a day passes during the Azawak’s prolonged dry season (now more than nine months long) without children forsaking school, play and their health to make marathon journeys for water. They travel atop dehydrated donkeys with jerry cans strapped to their sides and they walk on their calloused feet across the hot sand. Many of them are too young to remember the days, more than 10, 20 years ago, when their homeland was the greenest, most fertile pasture in West Africa. When rain fell as it should and generously filled marshes from which they drank. But their parents do.

They tell their children of how they used to travel marathons, not out of desperation, but out of custom. As nomads, they moved from one lush grazing pasture to the next, keeping their animals and themselves healthy and ensuring their livelihoods. Their children can hardly believe it now. Since their land began to dry up almost a decade ago, these same nomads have built camps that have been transformed into villages, many around Amman Imman’s five luminous water towers: beaming oases in a desert of sand and thorns.

Times have changed. Adults in the Azawak now travel marathons, not on their feet, but with their hands. In the places untouched by Amman Imman’s assistance, they dig deep into the earth in an attempt to find water. Only unlike past marathons, these journeys are often made in vain. The water table is too deep. Before they reach their cherished Amman, many become covered in dirt, killed by their search for water and for life. As a Charity Partner of the Marine Corps Marathon, we are two days away from our deadline for registering our running team. We encourage you and your friends to consider running in solidarity for those journeying across the Azawak Valley and supporting our efforts to bring water and other development assistance to our friends in the Azawak. For without water, without solidarity for their struggle, there is no hope.

We hope you’ll consider registering for our Marine Corps Marathon team and joining our growing team of runners, or sharing this blog post among your social networking communities, running friends and fitness groups.

Please contact me at laurel@ammanimman.org if you are interested in joining our marathon team or sign up here.

Laurel Lundstrom
2013 Marine Corps Marathon Team Coordinator
Amman Imman
Web Analytics