World Vision pumps for water are hand or solar- powered
By Emma Palova
Ludington, MI- Author Joan H. Young is no stranger to walking. Young was the first woman to complete the 4,600-mile- long hike on the North Country Trail in 2010.
But this was the first time, Young has walked with a mission to provide water for Third World countries, a global effort spearheaded by World Vision. Young walked a total of 21 miles on May 22 in the Global 6K for Water.
Here is a Q&A interview with Young.
Q: How long have you been walking for water?
A: This is the first time I have done this.
Q: Why? What is your primary motivation?
A: Back in 1986, when I decided I wanted to go to grad school, in the sciences, I did a lot of reading and predicted that water was going to be the global crisis of the 21st century. So, I decided to study some field related to clean water. I ended up not using that degree, but I learned a lot and still believe that providing clean water to the world needs to have a higher priority.
Q: A little bit about Fatima: Where does she live and how bad is the water situation?
A: She was assigned to me. Each participant is paired with a child to give a face to our fundraising. She lives in Ethiopia where about 26 million people lack access to clean water. One organization claims that 7.5 percent of the globalwater crisis is inEthiopia alone. In addition to a lack of clean water, there is a lack of basic sanitation facilities. The result, not surprisingly, is a huge number of deaths from water-borne illnesses. So many children die that the world has become numb and is no longer outraged. World Vision bores deep wells, and the pumps are either hand powered or solar powered, so villages do not have to depend on unreliable or unavailable electricity.
Q: How much money has been raised and how much have you raised?
A: I know World Vision hoped to raise $2 million this year. I raised $1495, and was in the top 100 individual fundraisers, but I know some of the very top people raised over $5000. I think they are still taking contributions, so the totals have not yet been released. Donations are still being accepted as of June 1, 2021.
Q: What have you learned about yourself and others on your walks?
A: The distance proposed for most walkers by World Vision was 6K, about 4 miles. This distance was chosen because it is the average distance people in countries with inadequate clean water must walk every day to collect dirty water for cooking and drinking. I chose to walk more, as a challenge, thinking it might attract people to donate. Perhaps that was a factor. I was really pleased that so many people stepped up to donate. I was able to raise much more money than I ever could have given on my own.
World Vision estimates that it averages out to about $50 to provide clean water to one person. So that means I was able to help 27 people gain access to clean water. I like the way that feels.
Q: How do your walks project into your books?
A: So far, not at all, since this was my first one.
Q: What are your future plans for walking?
A: Walking is like breathing. I just do it. We’ll see if I sign up for another fundraiser in the future.
About Joan H. Young
Author of the Anastasia Raven cozy mysteries, Dubois Files children’s mysteries, books about hiking, and more
check it out at booksleavingfootprints.com
adventurer – writer – speaker
More than 27,000 people in 18 countries joined Global 6k for Water on May 22. 2021.
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