On Sunday, March 13, rain or shine, students from Woodside Elementary School will hold their seventh annual Walk for Water to raise money for drilling wells in the Samburu region of Kenya.
The students' goal is to raise $22,000. In previous years, the students raised a total of more than $140,000, enabling seven wells to be dug and marked with a plaque reading: "Woodside Wishing Well."
The money goes to the Samburu Project, which was started in 2005 by Kristen Kosinski after a visit to Kenya showed her how the daily struggle for water impacted the lives of the Samburu villagers.
"Women spend their entire day, every day of their lives, searching for water," she writes on the project's website. Instead of going to school, girls would help look for water, and villagers were sick and dying from waterborne diseases, she writes.
This year's walk and festivities will start at 1 p.m. on the school's kindergarten field. Participants, many in costumes, will walk quarter-mile laps around the school fields, with prizes offered for costumes, laps completed and largest family participation.
This year's Walk for Water is being managed and organized by a middle school community service class.
With the support of parent and Samburu Project board member Doretta Bonner and community service coordinator Sharon Lacrosse, a group of 17 middle school students is also working to create awareness about the importance of the project. The class put together a fundraising website and promoted the event in presentations, assemblies and in the community.
WoodsideWalkforWater.org has links to donate or register.
TheSamburuProject.org has more information about the organization and its work.