Walk for water, to the waterAdanna Abakporo and Laura Pfeifer, two students from Mariner High School in Everett, Washington, organized a “Walk for Water, To the Water” with the aim of raising awareness of world water issues around campus and over $1,000 for WaterAid America.
The team at the end of the walk.
Inspired by their high school French teacher’s challenge to research a French-speaking African country and find a way to make a difference, Laura Pfeifer and Adanna Abakporo chose to research Burkina Faso. Using WaterAid’s website, both students found information regarding the poor access to sanitation and hygiene, and the importance of clean water.
“We found that 51 percent of people don’t have access to clean water, and only 12 percent have access to sanitation,” Pfeifer said, “We just walk over to the sink and get clean water; we don’t even think about it.”
Angered by this reality, Adanna and Laura soon organized a “Walk for Water, To the Water,” held on April 4, 2009. Their walk, meant to demonstrate the distance an average child from Burkina Faso must walk on a daily basis to collect fresh drinking water, extended from Mariner High School to Mukilteo Beach approximately 7.9 miles away.
Mukilteo is a waterfront community situated on Puget Sound in southern Snohomish County, about 25 miles north of Seattle.
By devoting lunch periods to visiting classrooms throughout their high school, Adanna and Laura educated their peers about the crisis, raised funds and encouraged all to take part in their “Walk for Water, To the Water” event.
Adanna and Laura distributed “water bottle banks” throughout Mariner High School to encourage both teachers and students to donate funds. “Most of our teachers helped us and got us some donations from their classes,” Adanna exclaimed, “At the end of the week, Laura and I counted up the money and just from school, we raised about $300-400”
On an appropriately rainy World Water Day, about a month before the walk, Adanna and Laura sat outside Starbucks in Everett for three hours to distribute WaterAid America pamphlets about the world water crisis, to ask for donations, and to raise awareness for their “Walk for Water, To the Water” event.
On April 4, along with friends, teachers, family members, and pets, Adanna Abakporo and Laura Pfeifer set out on their eight mile walk to raise awareness.
“At first I was kind of nervous that I wouldn't be able to walk all that way, but walking with friends was great and it didn't feel like we were walking eight miles!”
Along the way, participants received encouragement from honking cars and even collected a few donations. “While we were walking, there was a man who came up to us and told us how he read about me and Laura in the newspaper and he told us how proud he was of us and how we were making a good impact. He also donated $10 for the walk, which we were definitely thankful for.”
The event, a huge success, raised over $1, 350 for WaterAid America. In addition, Laura and Adanna were both featured in the local and school newspaper, which is a great way for any group to raise awareness for events and causes.
“April 4 was seriously the BEST day of my life, and I'm so glad of what Laura and I accomplished. It was fantastic and it just feels good knowing that I helped out people less fortunate than me.”
Adanna and Laura promoted the “Walk for Water, To the Water” event and raised funds using their personal fundraising page for WaterAid America. Find out how you can set up a personal fundraising page for WaterAid America.
Adanna and Laura with Seattle mayor Greg Nickels
April 4 was seriously the BEST day of my life, and I'm so glad of what Laura and I accomplished. It was fantastic and it just feels good knowing that I helped out people less fortunate than me.