Amy and Aaron walked the entire distance from Cape Town to Addis Ababa. Marty supported them by driving the Land Rover full of supplies for the South Africa-to-Mozambique portion of the journey. 


Amy Russell

Founder and Executive Director of Walking4Water

Amy is the admittedly crazy person who committed to seeing this project through. She excitedly turned this dream into a reality.

Email Amy


Aaron Tharp

Committed walker and experienced traveler

Aaron, the guy with the coolest dreads on the block, was an essential member of our walking team. Although originally from Ohio, Aaron has been traveling since the age of 18, and has had many different life experiences most people only dream about. If there's anyone you want to walk across Africa with you, it's this guy.


Marty Yoder

Support Vehicle Driver

During the first part of the walk, from South Africa to Mozambique, Marty drove a Land Rover full of supplies alongside Amy and Aaron as they walked. Marty then returned to the U.S. to continue his education, and the Land Rover was sold. Amy and Aaron continued on foot, but Marty and the Land Rover were a great set of training wheels for the first leg of the journey, allowing them to get comfortable in this new environment.


These members were instrumental in getting the team to Africa and allowed Walking4Water to thrive while the walkers were abroad!


Emily Bauer

Support Team Director

Emily works as a nurse in Chicago and is married to Jesse. She kept the support team organized, updated Walking4Water's social media outlets, and kept tabs on Amy and Aaron. She was the person to contact if there was an emergency here that Amy and Aaron should know about, and she communicated with everyone in the U.S. when things went wrong in Africa.


Jesse Bauer

Fundraising Campaign Manager

In addition to being Emily's husband, Jesse works in the commercial real estate industry. He kept track of the team's finances and handling donor interaction. 


Doreen Oraha


We call her Dora (like the Explorer), and she was responsible for our social media and merchandising channels. Dora is to thank for the amazing press kit and for all of our press releases. Although new career responsibilities required Dora to take a step back from the Walking4Water team, she was an incredible asset.


Kristen Van Putten

Charity: water liaison

Kristen and her family have been involved with our beneficiary organization, charity:water, for a few years. Her experience with the organization and her extreme attention to detail made Kristen the perfect person to be our charity: water liaison and expert! Other than water, Kristen is passionate about elementary education and is a great teacher in Omaha, NE.

Sarah Van Putten

Faith Community Liaison

Sarah is opening own coffee shop to benefit charity: water!  (And yes, Kristen is her sister). Sarah spent all of July 2012 with Amy, Aaron and Marty as they traveled through South Africa, Swaziland, and southern Mozambique. Back in the states Sarah handled communications with supportive faith communities. 

Chuck Russell

Web Steward

Chuck is the proud father of Amy. Other accomplishments include spending many years doing things with computers and teaching about them. For the last 19 years he has been working in IT at a community college.