On Saturday, May 6th, 2017, people from around the globe will walk or run an average distance for an extraordinary cause.
Sporting big smiles and bright orange World Vision t-shirts, Patrick and Crystal O’Rourke along with their three children, have been on the go, spreading the word about the Global 6K Run for Water which will take place at the Apple Valley Civic Park in Apple Valley, CA. The O’Rourke’s are one of over 500 Team World Vision Host Site Coordinators. There are over 10,000 people registered for the worldwide 6K run.
Six kilometers is the average distance people in the developing world walk for water that is often unsafe to drink.
World Vision is a global Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to partnering with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Team World Vision is a water project where participants run or walk a 6K on the same date, but in many locations around the world. Six kilometers is the average distance people in the developing world walk for water that is often unsafe to drink.
Nearly 1,000 children under age 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene.
Patrick and Crystal’s journey with World vision started back in 2009 when they signed up to sponsor a child from Lesotho, South Africa. In 2012 Crystal became a member of Team World Vision to raise money for clean water in Africa by setting up a fundraiser. The O’Rourke’s then became ambassadors for World Vision, which means they assist in finding sponsors for children in poverty. This year the family teamed with their local church forming Team Oasis for the Global 6K run/walk for clean water.
Every $50 will provide one child with clean water for life.
Per World Vision, each participant’s registration of $50 goes to World Vision’s Water Initiatives. Every $50 will provide one child with clean water for life.
After registering, participants will receive in the mail a World Vision Global 6K for Water t-shirt, race bib with a picture, name and age of a child, and medal. Also enclosed is information on how to sponsor the child on the bio (optional) for $39.00 a month.
“It blesses me to be able to give people an opportunity to do something to meet the needs of others. Sometimes people just don’t know how to go about doing it,” Crystal said.
So far this year, the O’Rourke family has raised $3,500, providing clean water for life for 85 kids and counting.
Team World Vision’s Clean Water Approach
World Vision has been working for over 30 years in impoverished areas to provide safe water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education so that illnesses decrease, health improves, and the burden on women and children is lessened. World Vision’s programs collaborate with community leaders to solicit the participation of men and women, people of varying ages (from children through the elderly), as well as those with disabilities and illnesses. With a team of 500 WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) experts working with these communities worldwide, one new person is reached with safe water every 30 seconds.
According to their website, World Vision develops the most appropriate safe water source for each community they work in. Some of the technologies used include drilling deep wells to reach aquifers far below ground and hand-drilling wells when the water table is closer to the surface.
In larger communities, wells with a high-water yield can be mechanized with solar pumps to reach more people. When fresh spring water is available, World Vision can protect and cap the spring to provide water to nearby communities. World Vision often uses rainwater-harvesting systems to provide clean water at schools.
World Vision contributes to community ownership and training in maintenance so that water continues to flow long after their work concludes. World Vision invests 15 years in a community, insuring local people take ownership and learn how to repair them should they break down.
Crystal O’Rourke says, “We like to say it’s ‘their’ water project. We just provide the means. Area development Programs (APD) get the community involved and train them. After several years, they pull out. Once the APD leaves, they visit every few years to continue to build relationships as well as help with any problems.”
Team World Vision says,
“But we believe the global water and sanitation crisis can be solved within our lifetimes. That’s why we’re focused on providing clean water and sanitation to every man, woman, and child in every community we work in, including the most vulnerable populations in the hardest-to-reach places.”
The Water Institute at the University of North Carolina (UNC) and World Vision are partnering to improve WASH in low- and middle-income countries to help solve the water and sanitation crisis by 2030. Per an independent study done by the UNC, water sources in Ghana found nearly 80 percent of World Vision wells continue to function at a high level after 20 years, thanks largely to emphasis on community engagement.
2.3 million people are reached with improved water access and four new schools are reached every single day with clean water, sanitation, and hygiene.
“I want to let people know in our community and all over the world, that we can make a difference. We can change lives— even save lives,” Crystal said.
It’s not too late to get involved. Join with 10,000 other caring people across the globe by either becoming a Host Site Coordinator like the O’Rourke’s or joining a host site near you.
For more information, go to www.teamworldvision.org