2 years, 7000 miles, 1 Mission: CLEAN WATER.

Nearly 1 billion people don't have access to clean drinking water.

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Water Now

From January 2012 – August 2013, Amy Russell and Aaron Tharp walked 5000 miles across Africa to raise awareness and funds for the clean water projects. We recognize that bringing safe water to everyone is the first step toward eliminating extreme poverty worldwide. We are raising funds for charity:water, which uses 100% of the money for clean water projects, working with grassroots organizations in the poorest countries around the world to create long-term, sustainable solutions to this global crisis.

All-in-one beginner guide

The walk originally was planned to be 7000 miles and continue to Cairo, Egypt, but because of health issues and looming civil unrest, the trip was cut short in Addis Ababa. We celebrate the 5000 miles, the clean water that was given, and the opportunity to move back home safely.

See the “coming home” articles on Amy (AP & Evangelical Covenant Church)

If you feel led, we would also ask that you would please still consider donating to the work of charity: water.

We keep the site up so you can read our stories and learn about the clean water crisis.

Amy Russell is available on a case-by-case basis for speaking events. Please contact her directly if you would like her to speak at your event.

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You can check out our blog here below.

Walk for Water

t’s amazing to see how a schoolwide reading assignment can touch the hearts of our youth. Our students at Gerber School recently read, “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park, thanks to the generosity of employees at Amdocs, who purchased the books. The novel begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985.  The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is a two-hour walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way. Park used this book as a platform to support Dut’s program, Water for South Sudan. Through reading the book, our kids learned that in South Sudan, millions of women and children walk for up to eight hours a day to collect water from marshes, ditches, or wells where the water is often contaminated with parasites and bacteria. Our kids couldn’t believe that something as simple as clean water wasn’t available to everyone and the real-life story made quite an impact on them. “Our younger students were so moved by the story they felt the need to somehow contribute to this cause in their own way,” Melissa, one of our Gerber School social workers, said. “So, together, we have developed our own fundraiser, Gerber Cheetahs Walk for Water, in hopes that we might be able to make a difference.” On March 29th at noon, Gerber students and staff will be walking around the Cunningham campus carrying jugs of water to emulate the struggles faced daily by the people in Sudan. The students are taking donations with the goal of raising more than $1,000 to help build water wells in South Sudan. If our kids reach their goal, they will be placed in a drawing to have Salva Dut, who is now an adult, visit them at school. “This is an opportunity for our students to demonstrate compassion and for others to demonstrate generosity,” Melissa said. “What a wonderful way for our children to see[…]

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What controls natural water quality?

Material adapted from Vandas, S.J., Winter, T.C., and Battaglin, W.A. 2002. Water and the Environment, p. 28-29. Published by the American Geosciences Institute Environmental Awareness Series. The fundamental controls on natural water quality, water not impacted by the activities of humans, are the types of organic and geologic materials it contacts and the duration of this contact. As water moves through organic materials like leaves and roots, it reacts with them and with the living things associated with them, such as soil bacteria and algae. As water moves through geologic materials, it dissolves them. The processes of rock weathering on the Earth’s surface are strongly influenced by climatic factors such as temperature and the quantity and distribution of precipitation. Climatic patterns and environmental conditions affect plant communities and soil types, causing the waters that flow from these areas to have a certain chemical signature. The influence of climate and geology on water quality is indicated by the quantity and kinds of dissolved materials contributed from an area and the amount of sediment carried by streams. Natural water can vary greatly in the dissolved materials that it carries. Natural springs that flow through salt-bearing geologic formations can have as much as 200,000 parts per million (PPM) of dissolved materials. Some streams that flow over rocks with low solubility can have as little as 50 parts per million (PPM) of dissolved materials. For drinking water purposes it is recommended that waters contain less than 500 parts per million of dissolved materials. Natural events such as droughts and floods may cause substantial changes in stream water quality. Reduced flow resulting from droughts can cause an increase in the concentrations of dissolved materials and a decrease in the load or amount of solid material carried by a stream. The reverse is true of floods; high flows generally dilute the concentrations of dissolved materials, and flush new sediments from flood plains, increasing the sediment load. Biological factors can have a major effect on the quality of natural waters. Changes to any of the environmental factors that make up ecosystems can result in changes to the ecosystem as a whole. Through the process of photosynthesis, aquatic plants produce oxygen and consume carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and phosphorous in the water. The decay of plant materials consumes oxygen and produces carbon dioxide. Change in the balance between growth and decay can result in a change in the ecosystem and[…]

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Why Clean Water

Our focus is on clean water because we see clean water as the first step to ending extreme poverty in the world. And we’re not alone in that thought. Video provided by Charity: Water. Image provided by Living Water International. Just twenty dollars gives someone clean water for life! Give clean water today.

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About Walking for Water

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 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.

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Our focus is on clean water because we see clean water as the first step to ending extreme poverty in the world. And we’re not alone in that thought.

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Text messages from the walking team to the support team enabled Walking4Water to update this map as Amy and Aaron walked. You can click on each map point to see what they were thinking/feeling/experiencing in different locations!

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