Local runners in Ethiopia raising money for water project

Participants with Run for Water excursion will run 10 kilometres a day and visit local communities helped by organization.

Runners from Abbotsford are in Ethiopia this week

A group of 15 runners, including 10 from the Abbotsford area, travelled to Ethiopia this week to hit the local roads, learn about the culture and raise money for desperately needed water projects.

The trip originates with the annual Run for Water, and was prompted by inquiries from participants wondering about seeing first hand the water projects built with money raised by the event.

Several months, and a lot of planning later, 14 men and women, along with Run for Water executive director Peg Peters, arrived in the country to begin 10 days of running and learning. The group will run about 10 kilometres each day see first-hand many of the projects built by the organization, and will meet people in the communities transformed by fresh and accessible water. The trip is about more than tourism, however. All the runners have not only paid their own way over, but have committed to raising $100,000 for future projects. Already four-fifths of that total has been raised.

Included in the itinerary is participation in the Great Ethiopian Run, a massive 10-kilometre event through the streets of Addis Ababa with tens of thousands of other singing and dancing runners.

Participants will be welcomed into one village at a feast where an ox will be slaughtered in the runners’ honour, and Peters, who has travelled to Ethiopia eight times now, expects the trip to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those involved.

He said there was an “overwhelming response” when the idea for the journey was first floated.

“The idea of getting on our feet and running in people’s shoes really connected … You get to know them, you get to know their terrain.”

Running is a way of life in Ethiopia, and Peters said jogging around the country will let runners both experience the majestic vistas of the green and mountainous terrain, and foster a closer connection with the locals.

“We’re using running as the vehicle to encounter people on the ground,” Peters said.

The run won’t be without its challenges, however. Although the participants are runners, the elevation of Ethiopia could pose difficulties. But Peters says that will be part of the learning experience.

“The places we’re going, tourists don’t go … It’s really a cool experience. I think they’re going to be blown away by the visuals.”

Money raised by the runners will go towards digging a well to supply clean water, along with building a new school for the 2,700 people who live in Kudu, Ethiopia. To donate, visit https://chimp.net/groups/ethiopia-november-2015.

Watch abbynews.com for photos and dispatches from runners in Ethiopia.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Former Chilliwack mayor and MLA speaks at UFV

John Jansen makes presentation at Abbotsford campus on Tuesday, Jan. 21

Doxa Band performs at free worship event in Abbotsford

Program takes place Sunday, Jan. 26 at Central Heights Church

Alzheimer Society holds open house in Abbotsford

Event on Jan. 29 at Garden Park Tower is part of awareness month

Tougher burning rules considered by Abbotsford council

Staff suggest limiting open air burning to just two months

VIDEO: Highway 1 to look like winter war zone until owners retrieve wrecked vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

VIDEO: SPCA and RCMP remove several animals, including pig, at private animal rescue in Langley

Home at 5500 block of 216th Street has undergone multiple seizures over the past five years

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

Vancouver police probe second homicide in less than 24 hours

Woman was found dead in her Gastown home

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Most Read