Travel

Running for Water

Hope 2 Offer invites Vancouver to make a $plash
  • May 31, 2013
  • 328 words
  • 2 minutes
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Photo courtesy Hope 2 Offer

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Clean water. Even in Canada, this essential ingredient for a healthy life cannot be taken for granted. First Nations people continue to do battle for reliable access in northern communities, and small towns and big-city dwellers alike must wrestle with occasional failures in the delivery of what should be an infrastructural mainstay.

But while sources of fresh water all over the planet are under siege, in developing countries such as Guatemala, that siege too often represents the dramatic dividing line between life and death. In Guatemala, a country still recovering from a decades-long civil war, access to clean drinking water is not a human right. Here, water is unregulated, inconsistent, unmonitored and often unavailable, especially in rural areas. Farming families living in drought-prone areas must depend on the scarce rain to grow their food. Women and children spend hours of every day walking to and from water sources to carry water home for drinking, cooking, bathing, laundry and irrigation.

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On British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, a group of engaged citizens wants to help change the daily lives of the families living in Guatemala’s El Quiché, a province that suffers from one of the highest levels of poverty in the country. Calling themselves Hope 2 Offer, the group raised some $90,000 to help build a gravity-fed water system in southern Ethiopia in 2006. Now, they’re training their humanitarian vision and fund-raising skill set on Central America.

On June 22 at Vancouver’s Riverfront Park, Hope 2 Offer is rallying its community to turn out for the Run for H20, a 5k and 10k run/jog or walk in southeast Vancouver and Burnaby. Running along the Fraser River, participants will be hard-pressed not to visualize the tangible benefits their efforts will provide to a people desperate for water security and self-sufficiency. It’s a global problem Hope 2 Offer is thirsty to fix.

For more information, visit: www.runforh2o.ca

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