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  • Gregoria's Story

    The Kerani Water Project in Boliva, with the help of Water for People and Blue Planet Run Foundation, created a central water piping system and installed water taps for households, schools, the main square, the health center, and the cemetery.

    Gregoria Choque, one of the villagers, explains how having a water tap outside her home changed her life. She and her husband Cecilio are in the photo.

    "Before the tapstand next to my house, every day I walked about 20 – 30 minutes to a private well and then back again to get water. We had to get up at 4am to get water because later than that there would be no more water left in the well. We would bring two or three 20 litre buckets each day from the well. It was always me and my daughter who went for water but now because it is so close we all go.

    We use the water from the tapstand to drink, cook, wash clothes and personal bathing. The water is cleaner and healthier. When we used well water we had to filter it through a cloth but now with the tap stand it is not necessary. We no longer have diarrhea or stomach pains."

  • Bintu's Story

    Bintu Kamara lives in Myla Village, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is located between Guinea and Liberia, on the western coast of Africa. For only $7,500 US, 700 children can now get clean drinking water. Read how this has changed her life. Then donate to Blue Planet Run Foundation to help fund another project like this. You can make a difference.

    "I am Bintu Kamara and I am an 11 years old girl living at Lower Allentown near the Faith-in-Christ Primary School where I attend class 5."

    "I'm the youngest of 7 children, all living in the same house. I used to fetch water from a stream very far away and a steep slope - an every-morning chore before I go to school. Every child in the neighbourhood had to do so before and after school. We also had to fetch water for the school to provide drinking water."

    "The stream is also used for laundry and other purposes, so it is dirty. The stream is polluted by a lot of garbage. It is not surprising though that so many people in this community so often have problems with their health, especially in the days when there is a cholera outbreak."

    "A few weeks ago the rainwater harvesting tank at our school was completed, and so the situation changed. For laundry and bathing we still go down to the stream, but for drinking I now have pure and clean water from the tank. By that we don’t have to take the dangerous and straining way to the stream upon us so often every day. Everyone in the community pays a little to a committee, which maintains the pump, the tank and the supply of water."

    "I still have to go to the stream for laundry and bathing like all my neighbours. However, our health is much better now and we have more energy and time for school work."

  • A Thousand Children Will Die in The Next 24 Hours

    Would you be shocked if I told you that 1,000 children in your town were going to die in the next 24 hours due to unsafe drinking water unless something was done immediately? What would you do if you also knew that $200 would fix the issue? If you are like most people, you would probably spring into action to help your community, either by donating money or labor to fix the situation. If you live in the northern hemisphere, you are unlikely to run into this scenario. But for many children in the southern hemisphere, death due to unsafe drinking water is a reality.

    Even though these children are not in your neighborhood, you can help them by donating to Blue Planet Run Foundation to improve water and sanitation in developing countries.

    See Lighter Footstep.

  • Rhoda's Story

    The Litchenza Samuti and Chamasowa Project in Malawi helped 1,500 people (300 families) get drinkable water. A child in Chamasowa Village tells how the project helped her.

    "My name is Rhoda Chiputu, I am 10 years old. I come from Chamasowa Village and am in Standard 3 at Chamasowa Primary School.

    "Before the construction of the borehole here at Likoto in Chamasowa Village, we used to fetch drinking water from an unprotected well, which was very inconsistent in terms of the flow of water. People used to crowd over there, spending more time on water collection. Sometimes the well could go dry and people had to wait for the water to start flowing again. Other people resorted to drawing water from the nearby river. In addition, during rainy seasons the well used to get mixed with run-off water with a lot of turbidity, dirt and waste. The children regularly suffered from diarrhoea; which resulted in high absenteeism from school and, hence, poor performance."

    Rhoda nearly dropped out from school in 2005 as her friends used to laugh at her in class due to her poor performance. Most of the days, Rhoda could not do her home work because she had no time, as she spent most of her afternoons helping her mother fetch water.

    "Now that there is a borehole in my community, the scarce potable water has become easily accessible; the distance to the water source has been much reduced; and this rainy season I have not suffered from diarrhea. I now spend less time collecting water than before and have more time to do my homework and concentrate in school. My performance is improving."

    You can help other project like this by donating to Blue Planet Run Foundation.

  • Sandra's Story

    Sandra is 25 years old. She was born in Masiguito, into a large family of 8. At the age of 13 she married her husband Martin. Martin is a respected community leader and a subsistence farmer who grows corn and beans on small plots of land near the village. They have two sons, ages 12 and 4. They live in a comfortable wooden house which Martin built for his family and his mother.

    Sandra is a member of the committee which organized and supervised the water project in Masiguito, that Blue Planet helped to finance, and she and all of her neighbors worked every day on the project during its construction, digging the ditches and laying the pipe from the spring to the houses. She continues as an active member of the committee, serving as treasurer and collecting a small sum each month from each family, to have a fund ready to pay for any needed repairs. Here is Sandra with her two children at a newly installed water spigot. (Photo courtesy of Blue Planet Run Foundation.)

    Prior to the water project, Sandra walked for 20 minutes downhill from her house to an open stream to collect water in a clay jug and carry it back on her shoulder. Her two sons accompanied her, carrying smaller water jugs. She reports that it took about 40 minutes to walk back uphill, not only because of the weight of the water on her shoulder but also because the children went more slowly. She made this trip several times every morning, and several times every afternoon. Since the project was completed, she has a spigot in her back yard which delivers clean water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She no longer spends 4 or 5 hours a day carrying water. Sandra has gone back to school, and now (2 years after the project) is in 2nd year of high school, studying on Saturdays at the Adult School in the village of La Calamidad, 4 kilometers away. She walks the 4 km each way every Saturday because she does not have money for the bus. But now she has time.

    She also has time to grow a few vegetables in the back yard near the spigot, protecting the plants from her flock of hens with wire and thorny branches. She also has time now for the activities of her church, a small Catholic chapel serving the two sectors of the community of Masiguito. She attends services, workshops, and special events at the church, which she was not able to do before.

    Sandra represented El Porvenir, and Blue Planet Run water projects, at the UN in New York in July of 2006.

    "Thanks to you, I am now able to go to school and educate myself."

  • Elena and Zaqueo's Story

    Zaqueo and Elena are grateful that their school's hand washing station will be repaired soon, as only two taps are working properly. They also comment on the insufficient hand washing possibilities for the pre-primary children (ages 4-6) – they can not reach the taps because they are too high for them and therefore rarely wash their hands after using the toilets or before eating. Furthermore, they also drew our attention to the leaking flush toilets for the pre-primary students causing the students clothing and feet to get soaked. (Photo courtesy of Blue Planet Run.)

    Elena and Zaqueo thank Team Blue and the children in the US for their help.

    Elena Brito Kujutch is 13 years old and a 6th grade student at the “Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta Kanaquil” in the village of Kanaquil. She lives together with her grandmother and her aunt in Kanaquil, her parents and her 5 brothers and sisters (3 younger and 2 older) live in the village of Tzalbal, about 10km away in direction of the municipal capital Nebaj. After completing 3rd grade in Tzalbal she moved to lived with her grandmother in Kanaquil. They share a one-room house made of wood, with an earth floor and a separate kitchen. The kitchen is equipped with an improved stove and the house counts with its own water tap and latrine.

    Elena enjoys studying very much and her favorite subject is Mathematics. After completing the 6th grade she would like to continue studying in secondary school to become a teacher later on.

    Elena’s typical school day starts at 6am, when she gets up to help with preparing breakfast. School starts at 7:30am and during the 10am till 10:30am recess she takes care of the mixtamal (cooked maize ready to get ground) and takes it to the mill. She says she can do that because she lives very close to the school. School ends at 12:30 and she heads home to have lunch and to do her homework. Some days she meets with her friends to play.

    Elena’s classmate Zaqueo Emeterio Raymundo Lunes is also 13 years old. He has two older brothers and two older sisters. His grandparents are already dead. He and his family live in a traditional adobe house with a cement floor. They share one room and have a separate kitchen. The kitchen has no stove, cooking takes place over an open fire. The house is connected to the local water system and has its own washing station (pila) and counts with a latrine.

    Zaqueo also likes studying a lot and would like to continue after having finished primary school. His favorite subject is also Mathematics and he would like to become a bank accountant.

    His school day normally starts at 6:30am, he has breakfast and walks to school. After school and lunch he and his brothers usually help his father in the corn field (milpa). Whenever he has some spare time, he plays football with his friends.

  • Teacher Turns Pencils Into Water

    Blue Planet Run applauds a genius idea from teacher, Tina Adwar. She models great behavior for her students while saving lives. Here she is with her students from Newfield High School in Selden, NY.

    Tina says:

    "I am an Earth Science teacher at Newfield High School in Selden, NY. My students are required to have pencils for lab work, graphing etc. I used to be frustrated at the number of students who did not have a pencil on any given day."

    "For the past two years, I have turned a negative into a positive."

    "Students who forget their pencils buy one from me for 10 cents. When we reach $15, I match the money and we buy bricks to line a well through Blue Planet Run Foundation. So far this year we have made two $30 donations. Last year we made three. Students understand where the money is going because I show them the videos on your website. It's been a great learning experience for the students to realize the need for water in other places in the world."

    You too can use your genius to raise money to bring clean water to developing countries.

  • Water Hero and Peace Jammer: Samuel Wonsover

    Every year, Dr. Johnston, a Professor at Parkland College in Champaign, IL, requires his students to present a persuasive speech on a charity organization. One student, 19 year old Samuel Wonsover, is interested in all things that help the world. A few years ago, he attended the Denver Peace Jam Conference where he learned about Blue Planet Run.

    "I really dig what you guys are doing so I decided to write my speech on it. We are fortunate in America. We have access to water in incredible amounts while some people do not have access at all. I appreciate my sink, water fountain, showers, dishwasher, pool, and water. I wrote the speech to get people to think about how fortunate we are and to help Blue Planet Run." After all the speeches were delivered, Dr. Johnston’s class voted for Blue Planet Run. The class donated $302

  • Water and Economic Growth

    Do you work? How much do you make per hour? What if you needed to spend part of your day fetching water to drink instead of going to work? How much money would you lose?

    • More than 40 billion work hours are lost each year in Africa because people need to fetch drinking water.
    • Workers in India lose 73 million working days per year due to illness from water.

    Find out more. (Photo courtesy of Blue Planet Run Foundation.)

  • Poverty and Water

    If it takes only $30 to supply clean and safe drinking water to one person for their entire life, why is it that so many people don't have access to clean drinking water? Because they are poor. Unfortunately many people in the world do not view poor people as worthy of assistance. Listen to what a few poor people have to say:

    "Poverty is pain; it feels like a disease. It attacks a person not only materially but also morally. It eats away one's dignity and drives one into total despair."—Woman from Moldova

    "The authorities don't seem to see poor people. Everything about the poor is despised, and above all poverty is despised."—Man from Brazil

    "I am illiterate. I am like a blind person."—Woman from Pakistan

    What's $30 to a latté drinker or cigarette smoker or bottled water drinker? Two weeks of some people's pleasure could provide a lifetime of water to a person in poverty. So why doesn't the world pitch in to help those in need?

    You can! Donate to Blue Planet Run Foundation or make some kayakers happy at the same time you help solve the world water crisis by donating to WhatAboutBlue?

  • Eisha's Story: Thanks from Kalembo Secondary School

    Eisha Shaban, Head Girl from Kalembo Secondary School in Tanzania, sends her thanks to Blue Planet Run Foundation for getting clean water to her school:

    "We students of Kalembo Secondary school, we send our greetings of thanks to Blue Planet Run Foundation (BPRF), all our fellow Schools from USA, and all others who in one way or another have made us accessing Clean and safe water in our school. The bore hole you have build for us has reduced several problems we have been facing for more than 6 years now. Among the problems we have been facing include:

    * Loosing several periods due to long distance moving to collect some water
    * Drinking unsafe water for our health as we were fetching from local dug wells
    * School building construction was also tough as we traveled the same distance in order to get water for the work
    * The same wells we used to collect some water we were sharing with animals like pigs and dogs

    Your assistance has made us free from above problems. We are now ensured with good health and improving our academic performance as most of our time will be used in academic issues.
    Thank you very much for considering our need."

    This is the new pump at Kalembo Secondary School in Tanzania, East Africa.

  • Mrs. Flores' Story: In Search of Water

    Mrs. Maria Antonia Mendez Flores lives in Boaco Viejo, in the sector of July 19th. She is the mother of 7 children, three boys, all single and 4 girls, 2 of whom are married. She has lived in Boaco Viejo for 14 years. Before the water project, there was water close by to the house, but it was on private land owned by one of the land owners, and this man did not like to let them take this vital liquid, since he had cattle and that was his priority. What he did was to reduce the amount of water they could take. Normally, they carried 6 buckets of water on their heads over a distance of 1km. They used this water exclusively for drinking. For washing clothes, she had to go in search of water in the streams of the community, and sometimes walked up to 3km, since in the dry season, the streams dried up and it was not easy to encounter water. The children were left alone in the house, and the majority of the people had the same problem, and had no one to look after their kids. She only brought the newborn with her to carry water, since he needed more care and attention. (Photo courtesy of Blue Planet Run Foundation.)

    The activity of carrying water on one's head was carried out every day devotedly and the labour to leave the home to wash clothes was carried out every three days. In order to be able to go out to wash the family clothes, the day began at 4am, to prepare the food so that her husband could leave for work with some food in his belly and with a lunch in a container wrapped in some cloth, since she would not return from washing clothes until 5pm. The children were fed before she left, but the lunch was eaten cold. According to Maria Antonia, these small activities took a lot of time since just looking for the vital liquid consumed time to be able to carry out the other activities that she learned as a young single woman.

    Maria Antonia reflected that now with the construction of the water project that was completed with the help of El Porvenir in her sector, as well as the construction of the sanitary units (washing and bathing station), everything has changed. Now she can get up a little later without worrying if they will allow her to have the vital liquid, it is now just 80 meters away from her home. Now they take advantage of the time saved to do other activities. A year and a half ago, she installed a small store in her home to be able to help with the economic expenses in the home and in her free time, she takes care of the roses in her house. This is one of her favorite activitie because she loves the gardens when the roses are blooming and as well she invests time in making embroidered pieces like hankerchiefs or pillow cases. Most importantly, she considers that she has more time for her family, especially the care of her mother who is still full of life although she has osteoporosis. But in spite of all this, she considers that she has a more relaxed life, since she does not get up in the morning with the worry of going out to the river to wash clothes with the fear of being surprised by some animal or being a victim of lightning in the rainy season and now her husband and children eat their three hot meals a day when they have them (food).

  • Mrs. Vega's Story

    Mrs. Margarita Maria Treminio Vega tells her story. (Photo courtesy of Blue Planet Run Foundation.)

    In the beginning, when I was young, I came from Casas Viejas (a nearby community) and came to La Ceibita to marry. I had to carry water from the well about 3-4 hours each day.

    At that time, the well as small and uncovered with a wooden and rock wall to hold the water. We came to get water in our sandals, and we were often contaminating the water with our dirty feet. The women, we carried the water in clay pots, one on our head and another on our waist. One day, carrying back the clay pots full of water down a hill, and one of the young children scared a dog behind me and the dog ran between my legs and it knocked me over. The clay pots shattered, but luckily I only hurt my knees.  

    I was not the only one to suffer this kind of fall. An older woman slipped and the clay pot fell on her feet. She suffered a great injury and was rushed to the doctor immediately. She needed 11 stitches. All this because of the long and uncomfortable trail that we used to obtain a little contaminated water.

    In the rainy season, the roads were so bad that we could hardly get down to get the water and these problems were compounded by the fights for water, pregnancies, having small children with you because there was no one to leave them with, the tiring trip to bring water, the gossipers, the delay in doing our household chores, sometimes leaving us without time to send them to school.

    But as time has gone on, some NGOs appeared like El Porvenir that have come to help us and resolve problems. We have improved little by little. CARE helped with the well, digging it, constructing it with a rope pump and chlorine for the water all through our community effort. This was great, but the trail continued to be difficult. We built some latrines with great effoty and some donations of other latrines, and in this way, our health started to improve.

    Six years ago, we benefitted from the installation of Electrical Energy thanks to our work with the mayor’s office. The road to the community was improved as well, and our husbands helped us carry the water. When our children were getting bigger, we sent them to help carry water as well. In that time, we stopped using clay pots and started using plastic buckets to carry more water for the bath, washing clothes and all the household chores. In this way, our community has been continually improving. We are happy, thanks to these organizations that have come to help, good and generous people. Because of them, we can live as Christians with more time to improve and we can pray more. You won’t believe this, but I have converted my father and I have taught him to read the Bible. He now talks to the family more, he helps to care for the children and sends them to school. We know we are poor communities that without the help of these nations and organizations that come to Nicaragua, we wouldn’t ever be able to lift ourselves out of misery, but thanks to them, the communities have improved a lot.

    We have always dreamed of trying to improve our community more. When we saw a similar project in Casas Viejas and Las Mesas, we searched for ways that took us to Managua since we needed and wanted potable water so much. We wanted to make this dream a reality and we found people with such great hearts that made our dream come true, thanks be to God and thanks to the donors. We feel very thankful since now we no longer have to dedicate 3 hours daily to carry water and now we have free time to dedicate to the children, to our household chores, to pray for tomorrow that we will have less problems. We are in the present and heading to the future, we ask God Almighty that He keeps helping the Nicaraguan people. I hope we can understand and be very careful in the maintenance of this potable water system that El Porvenir has brought us and will be improving our families’ health. This seed we plant today will continue to grow and we can be an example to future generations that they only need to organize themselves and be united to find the solution to their needs.

  • Pretty Pictures and Alarming Facts Make Great Gifts at a Bargain Price!

    The avid readers on your holiday gift list are sure to be impressed by the book Blue Planet Run: The Race to Provide Safe Drinking Water to the World. Some time ago, I provided a link to the PDF version of this book which you can get for free. But the print version is far more impressive. Amazon recently repriced it so the book it practically free. It is only $14.04 USD, down from $45.00. Your friends will think you spent far more than you did.

    To convince you how great this book is, read this excerpt from an Amazon reviewer:

    "Awesome, simply awesome. Not only do you learn about "water," its' characteristics and challenges to people all over the world, some one billion having little access to clean water, but the photography is magnificent. The scenes are realistic, yet compassionate and communicate deeply. The people shots become you, me.... Buy this book, you'll learn from it, delight in the photographs, you'll find sadness, joy, hope in it. And, you'll be inspired to action."

    Don't waste anytime. Snatch up this bargain book now!

    Then visit the Blue Planet Run website.

  • Mulande Says Thank You!

    Mulande , a Kenyan boy, rises before dawn to fetch water for his family before walking to school. He leaves school at noon to fetch more water. The water he hauls back across a dry, rocky trail may make him sick, but it's better than dying of thirst.

    Blue Planet Run's year-end campaign is helping children like Mulande around the world will receive safe drinking water for life.  Mulande and the other children in his village will be able to go back to school full time, avoid waterborne diseases that can kill them…and have the chance to be children with a lifetime of possibilities in front of them.?

    For only $30, you can give Mulande a lifetime of safe drinking water.

    Please donate today, make a gift on behalf of family, friends and colleagues, and help us spread the word.  Through December 31st, all donations to Blue Planet Run will be matched 100% up to $15,000.

  • Rowing from Africa to South America

    Katie Spotz is rowing from Africa to South America to raise awareness of the need for safe drinking water and money to do something about it. You can follow her progress on her Row for Water website. She's rowing a custom 19 foot boat that's designed for the ocean. It holds months of provisions, gear, freshwater, and has solar power for desalination, satellite phone, radio and radar. The boat is supposed to be seaworthy in 30 foot waves.

    Endurance events are well known to Katie. She was the first person to swim the 325 mile long Allegheny River. She's also cycled 3,300 miles across the USA, ran 150 miles across the Mojave and Colorado desert, and complete a 62-mile ultramarathon in Australia.

    Sabrina Walasek of Blue Planet Run Foundation says this of Katie:

    “I met Katie last spring at the Blue Planet Run 24-hour trail relay. Throughout the last several months, I have had the pleasure of getting to know her better and I continue to be awed by her abilities and endurance. Not only is she a tremendous athlete, she is such a thoughtful human being. We are fortunate to have her support in providing safe drinking water to people worldwide.

    I hope that many other athletes and young people are inspired by her compassion and commitment to improving the world. She never gives up and she never forgets the billion plus people who wake up each day without safe drinking water.”

    Read more about her cause and donate.

  • Katie: 300 miles down; 2,200 to go

    Katie Spotz has been rowing for over 9 days. Her quest is to be the youngest person to row across the Atlantic Ocean.  Cayenne, French Guiana is getting closer every day! Help her raise money for the Blue Planet Run Foundation.

    One of the latest posts on her site explains exactly how she is managing to get across the ocean. Here is an excerpt:

    "It’s no secret that, along with the odd bit of water, you’ll find wind, waves and, to a certain extent, currents in the ocean. And these are all factors that Katie had to take into careful consideration when planning this row. The ocean is a very powerful place, capable of causing problems for even the biggest boats – in fact, the ship carrying “Liv” from USA to Senegal was delayed by nearly a week due to the ocean conditions – so attempting to battle against it in a little rowboat would be futile, at best.

    Instead, you have to pick a time of year and route that will lead to as little obstruction from the weather as possible. That’s why Katie left from Dakar, Senegal in January.

    The currents in the North Atlantic Ocean are sort of laid out in a clockwise direction, flowing from USA to Europe and then Africa to South America. But it’s not quite that straightforward. On the route from Dakar to Cayenne, Katie has to contend with the North Equatorial Counter Current, an area where, to be honest, the ocean seems to do absolutely whatever it wants! Katie will come across large areas where she is battling the ocean pushing her north, south or east; sometimes she may get lucky and get a bit of help to the west.

    But the current isn’t the only factor to worry about. There’s also the not inconsiderable obstacle of a wave or two, sometimes towering over 30-feet high. If going the right direction, these can be pretty helpful as “Liv” surfs down them; that is if they’re not breaking on top of her, soaking Katie to the bone and capsizing the boat over and over again (don’t worry – it’s designed to cope with that). However, while there’s very little that you can rely on when it comes to oceans, one thing is for certain: it won’t do what you want! And so far the Atlantic has been living up to expectations, delivering waves from the north-west ever since Katie set off, attempting to push her back down the African coastline."