The Run for Water Society held a kick-off event on Jan. 17 to support the teachers from 25 schools have signed on to the Envision Financial Run for Water website.
The website allows educators to access the Envision a Better World: Learn, Create, Run program, a curriculum for high school students that uses water-related lessons to tie in many of the BC Ministry of Education learning outcomes with multi-media and innovative teaching strategies.
After learning about global water issues, students can host a “Mini Run for Water” on their school’s campus, as well as participate in the Envision Financial Run for Water on May 26 for a discounted fee.
This new curriculum adds on to the existing kindergarten through middle school curriculum used by teachers in previous years.
“Every 15 seconds a child dies from water-related diseases,” Betty Baerg, education director with the Run for Water Society, shared. “When a village is given access to clean water, the obvious life-saving factors are addressed, as well as many other ripple effects.”
Randall Peters, public speaker with the Run for Water Society, shared with teachers stories from his trips to the village of Gewada, Ethiopia. “I met Teyeo and her family three years ago when the village did not have access to clean water. Teyeo’s brother was suffering from an infection that resulted from a small cut being treated with dirty water that his older sister had brought to her family after hours of walking.”
“The money raised from last year’s Envision Financial Run for Water was sufficient to lay down 31 kilometres of pipe to tap a clean water source to bring water straight to Teyeo’s village,” continued Peters. “It was so amazing and humbling to return to that village and see what an incredible difference the clean water has made. Teyeo, her brother, and many of their friends are now in school and are facing a much brighter future.”
The growth and impact of the Envision a Better World: Learn, Create, Run program has also been an encouragement to event organizers and to the title sponsors, Envision Financial. This program has been embraced by schools throughout British Columbia as well as internationally in Russia, Ethiopia, South Africa, and the Sudan.
“At Envision Financial, we are committed to helping those less fortunate in both our local communities and globally,” says Shelley Besse, president at Envision Financial. “That’s why we’re proud to continue to support this important event and to help local students understand the link between the run and what’s happening in other parts of the world. Envision a Better World: Learn, Create, Run not only educates youth about how to conserve and preserve our resources, but it also gives them the tools and knowledge to help others.”
The Run for Water event is held the last Sunday in May at Mill Lake Park and hosts a 5K run, 10K run, half and full marathon as well as an ultra-marathon.