A walk for children, by children
A Marathon Walk in 110+ degree heat
During 9 months of the year, in stifling 110+ degree temperatures, the children of the Azawak make a marathon hike for water, inspired not by an athletic goal, but by a desperate need. They travel as many as 30 miles in a day, in oppressive heat, with little to eat. They know that if they don’t return soon with water, one of their family members might die.
Walk to Change Lives
To bring awareness to the challenges these children face, and to raise money to improve their lives, schools, students, and community organizations are invited to conduct “A Walk for Water”. Students ask friends, family, and local businesses to sponsor them for each mile they walk.
Heroes of Compassion
A Walk for Water embodies the mission of our Wells of Love program, which is to empower students as “Heroes of Compassion”. These future leaders come together with a philanthropic spirit to make a positive impact. Each stage of planning and engagement brings meaningful experiences that build a foundation for leadership and socially-conscious action.
Steps for Organizing A Walk for Water
- Pick a date and tell us about your event (send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Holding a community event in the fall, when school begins, is a great way to bring everyone together. World Water Day in March or Earth Day in April also provide occasions where an event focusing on the scarcity of water can be highlighted. We encourage your school to hold A Walk For Water at around the same time each year in order to raise a loud and consistent voice for the children of the Azawak.
Option: Do you want online registration for your event? Become our partner and Fill out this form. Check out the Montessori School of Mclean’s annual Walk for Water event.
- Choose a venue
The walk can take place on a wooded trail, around a track, along a city bike path, in a local park, around your local neighborhood or on school grounds.
Tip: Plan ahead. Set up an organizing committee. You may need to provide portable toilets, apply for a permit, or pay a fee.
- Invite your community
A Walk For Water can be held as a school function just for students during the school day, or organized as a weekend family event. Schools are encouraged join together with other schools to create an even bigger event that will give students an experience of being part of a larger collaborative movement.
- Use the forms and samples in A Walk For Water Fundraising kit (download the kit here)
The kit contains what you need to sign up your participants, raise awareness and promote your event, inform parents and encourage students, raise funds and submit your donation. Most of these documents can be tailored to meet your school’s needs. (Please note that some of the links in this kit may be outdated)
Tip: Prepare a timeline for all tasks. Think backward from the date of the event. Announce the event to your community approx. two months prior. Open the registration and begin collecting sponsorships approx. one to two months in advance.
- Register the students (Use these campaign tools to promote the event and raise awareness)
Conduct a campaign in your school and announce the Walk. Provide students the opportunity to make presentations outlining the water crisis in the Azawak and Amman Imman’s work in the region, inviting students and members of the community to register for the Walk.
Option: Invite an Amman Imman representative to make a presentation, or use these sample presentations for students to raise awareness in your community.
- Collect sponsorships (Raise funds online)
Encourage students to tell their friends, neighbors and relatives that they are “raising funds to erect a permanent structure drilled to reach sustainable water sources – a borehole – that will meet the water needs for 25,000 people and animals who currently do not have any access to water.”
Tip: Learn more about the Azawak region on our website or watch a video on our YouTube channel.
- Design a banner with the Amman Imman logo
A banner will add a celebratory note and create an expressive background for a community photo. Add your corporate sponsor logos.
- Send out a Press Release a week before the event
Tell media outlets including websites, newspapers, television stations and radio stations about your event by sending out a press release. Use our media kit to write a press release tailored to your event.
- Publicize the event
Use social media. Decide on a hashtag. Post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Create a Facebook Event. Make a page on your school’s website. Write about the event in your personal blog, etc. Hang posters around town; seek free advertising on listservs, bulletin boards and in local newspapers. Invite people to participate.
- Seek corporate sponsors
Create community responsibility and raise awareness by working with local merchants to match your donation. Businesses may want to provide in-kind donations by offering their services as incentives. They may want to supply snacks and drinks, make the banner, print posters and donate other needed supplies to support the cause. Credit these businesses in your press release and put their logo on your banner. Everyone can benefit!
Tip: Set a fundraising target for your school. Think high! Find a corporate sponsor to match the funds raised by your students.
- Create your own merchandise with the Amman Imman logo, like buttons or t-shirts
Provide a memento for the students and highlight your corporate sponsors. (This is optional, but the kids love it!)Option: You can sell merchandise at the walk to raise more money.
- Prepare a certificate to give to your Heroes of Compassion
Celebrate your students’ accomplishments by giving them a certificate at the end of the Walk. Here’s an example.
- Organize your volunteers
Secure people to help with making signs, marking the trail, checking in participants, collecting money, selling merchandise, handing out refreshments, chaperoning during the walk, cleaning up the trail, etc.
Tip: When you start to plan, form a committee to organize the event.
- Prepare the venue
Mark the trail with clear signs, decide on where to set up the check-in table, refreshment table, etc.Tip: Pick a route that is a little challenging and a lot of fun. A length of 3 miles or 5 kilometers is ideal. Students can ask their sponsors for a minimum of $5 per mile or kilometer.
- Plan the rally
Make the event more meaningful for everyone by holding a rally on the day of the walk just before it begins. Remind everyone why they are walking. Discuss how to be safe while walking.
- Inform the participants about the details
Send out Participation Guidelines, Driving Directions, Parking Instructions, and whatever other information is needed.Tip: Plan the event for a Saturday and invite the whole family! Everyone will benefit and enjoy serving together.
- Reconcile the collected funds
If you raised funds offline, total the number of participants and reconcile the funds collected on the Participant Tally Sheet. Record the totals on the Event Response and Donation Submission form.If you raised funds online, run a report to see your totals.