Donations are pouring in, and excitement is high, said Sherry Ballew, Radford University mathematics instructor, who for the second time in four months is helping her students ensure that thousands of people in Africa have clean, safe drinking water.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, students in Ballew's math for social justice class are hosting Water Walk 2012, a 5K run/walk to raise money to drill a much-needed well for a community in Africa. It is estimated that nearly 1 billion people on the continent are without clean drinking water.
The 5K distance represents the length some children and women walk in African communities to get water that often isn't clean, Ballew said. Gallon jugs filled with water will be available at the run/walk to give participants a perspective on carrying heavy containers for long distances.
Ballew's class has set a fundraising goal of $7,500, enough to pay for construction of one well. A water walk in June raised more than $2,500. Once the class has reached its goal, the funds will be transferred to The Water Project, which has equipment in Africa ready to drill and construct the well.
Registration will begin at 9 a.m. at the Dedmon Center, with the races to begin at 10 a.m. The cost is $20 for adults, $14 for RU students who present an ID, and $6 for children 6 to 12 years old. Children under 5 can participate at no charge. Registration also can be completed online. Each participant will receive an RU Water Walk T-shirt.
For those unable to participate in the run/walk, donations can be made at the event and online. In addition, the Water Walk team will be collecting donations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, in the lobby of the Hulburt Student Center.
Those making donations will have their names displayed on a paper water droplet outside Room 295 at Walker Hall, Ballew said.
The Water Project is a global nonprofit organization whose mission is to help communities around the world that lack access to clean water and proper sanitation.