Walk4Water is in its sixth year in Lake Oswego and features a stroller friendly two mile journey, beginning and ending at Foothills Park. Participants walk to the water source, fill their buckets and return, just like Zambian villagers must do everyday. Funds support World Vision’s Water Sanitation and Hygiene Program (ZWASH). So far over $1 million has been raised, improving the lives of over 20,000 Zambian villagers.
Who and what else bridges this distance between Lake Oswego and Zambia?
Bill and Diane Savage. They are Lake Oswego residents who have been spending their retirement years working to raise awareness about the need for safe water and sanitation in developing countries through WaterAfrica, the sponsoring organization of Walk4Water. On a World Vision trip to Zambia in 2005 through the Lake Grove Presbyterian Church, Bill went for a walk with a rural village woman to collect water for her family. When she stopped at a mud hole and scooped up dirty brown water that was the best she could find, he realized he had to do something to help.
Education. Lake Oswego prides itself on an award winning school system that draws families to live here and increases property values. That value for education connects Lake Oswegans to Zambians where the lack of proper sanitation and clean water prevents young girls from getting the education they need. The United Nations reported that poor sanitation facilities in schools prevent girls in developing countries from attending school, especially during menstruation. In addition the time commitment it takes for many young girls to retrieve their families’ water everyday, presents another barrier to them completing their education.
Lake Oswego City Council. The City Council has showed their support for reaching out to Zambian villagers by proclaiming the day of the Walk4Water, “WaterAfrica Day.”
Youth. My son has never been to Zambia but 300 villagers in Matambo, Zambia now enjoy clean drinking water from a well he helped fund through a dodge ball tournament he sponsored while at Lakeridge High School. My daughter, Casey, raised money towards WaterAfrica’s efforts through cookie sales when she was a junior at Lakeridge as well. Currently Lake Oswego High School sophomores Colin Favero and Jack Kehoe have been trying to enlist student support for the Walk4Water6 at their high school.
You can bridge the distance too by registering for Walk4Water6 today. The Walk is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, at Foothills Park, 199 Foothills Drive. Registration is at 8:30 a.m., walk begins at 9:00 a.m. Fees are: $10/student,child; $35/Individual; $70/Family; $250/Family Sponsorship.