First and foremost, World Vision’s Global 6K for Water is about providing clean water to thousands of children.
10-year-old Makaylah offers these words to people who are still undecided about participating: “If you were about to die or were getting sick because you didn’t have clean water, wouldn’t you want somebody to do this for you?”
I love to walk, but not alone, so when I heard about World Vision’s Global 6K for Water, I wanted to participate, but I needed a partner. Who could I get to walk with me? Who would find bringing clean water to children and their families something really special?
And then I thought of my oldest grandchild, Makaylah. At the age of 10, she has a heart for the world. In fact, this past Christmas, she had only one wish. It wasn’t for a doll. It wasn’t for a game. It wasn’t even for a book (although she would happily take the newest Percy Jackson book if someone wanted to give it to her). What she really wanted was to sponsor a child — to know that she was making a difference in the life of a child who lives in poverty.
So doing a 6K walk to make sure a child has clean water seemed like something she would jump at doing. “I was like, of course!” she says. “Raising money — yay! I think that’s cool.”
She adds, “I think this walk is a really good idea. It’s a great way to help earn money. It gives you a choice. You don’t have to do it, but it would help if you did.”
Makaylah understands the significance of the distance of six kilometers and how that’s the average distance that many people, most often women and girls, must walk to gather water for their families.
When I ask her how she would feel having to wake up and walk nearly four miles every day to get water, she says, “I wouldn’t want the day to end because I know that the next day I would have to walk all the way down [to get water] and all the way back.”
Then there are the dangers she might encounter along the way. “You could run into like a lion or something. You could step on a snake. A person might try to kidnap [you],” she says.
Besides the seen dangers, there are also those unseen, lurking in the dirty water.
“We don’t know what’s in the water, and it can make them sick,” Makaylah says. “They might die from it. Anything could be in it.”
She’s right. People often use the same water for bathing and drinking. Animals share the water holes.
Girls are often late to school when they walk long distances for water. Or sometimes they just don’t go rather than face the punishment for tardiness. The girls then fall behind in their studies and often drop out of school.
Makaylah got excited when she received her Team World Vision email introducing her to Sadiq, whose picture she’ll be wearing on her race bib. He’s 10 years old just like her and lives in Ghana with his parents and three brothers.
She says that even though she’s walking to raise money for clean water for Sadiq and other children like him, there’s still more he needs. “I’ve never met him, but I think that he should have a sponsor,” she says. “He did nothing wrong to be poor.”
After the race, each person walking World Vision’s Global 6K will have an opportunity to continue the relationship with the child on their bib by sponsoring them.
Sponsorship will help provide children like Sadiq with continued education, better access to water and healthcare, improved nutrition, and increased livelihood opportunities for his parents. For the children who don’t get sponsored on race day, World Vision is following up the Global 6K with Sponsorship Sunday to encourage people to become sponsors.
But first and foremost, the Global 6K is about providing clean water to thousands of children. Makaylah offers these words to people who are still undecided about whether or not to participate: “If you were about to die or were getting sick because you didn’t have clean water, wouldn’t you want somebody to do this for you?”
Every day, millions of women and girls have no choice but to walk an average of 6 kilometers to collect dirty water that makes them sick. On May 6, you can walk or run a 6K for Water so they don't have to!
Choose a child today to begin a relationship with by becoming their sponsor!