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Laguna Beach

 Volume 14, Issue 40  |  May 20, 2022


Join Walking for Water 2022 on May 22 at LBHS

What would you do if every day you had to walk for hours in the beating sun just to get water that may not even be clean? Sometimes you might even need to climb steep terrain, or walk on damaged roads, carrying heavy containers for miles. Many women in Third World countries have to take this long trek every day for one of the most basic necessities of life: water. This was the tragic reality for Sobonfu Somé, an African woman, before moving to the United States. Somé then set a path to help her country.

She and Susan Hough, a woman inspired by Somé, created Walking for Water, a non-profit organization they run with the help of students from Laguna Beach High School (LBHS), along with other high schools on the East Coast. Sadly, Somé passed away in 2017 due to side effects from a lifetime of consuming contaminated water. However, her spirit permeates the club and members have made it their duty to carry on her legacy. 

The mission over the years always comes back to one simple idea: Change is possible. An idea, an inspiration, and some action can shift a seemingly immovable situation into a positive movement. Walking for Water is that positive movement.

Over the years, Walking for Water has built 40 wells in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and India as a result of generous donations and their annual walk. In addition, they have also supported 4,174 students with more than 500 books donated to village libraries. They have seen villagers cheer as water bursts from the ground from their new well. Students have been able to attend college because their tuition was covered by donations from people giving to a cause – Wisdom Spring.

Join Walking For Water

Submitted photo

(L-R) Walking for Water club leader Susan Hough, Sobonfu Somé and a club advocate

When COVID hit, the club had to find other ways to maintain their goals. The members had countless Zoom meetings to continue their ideas for the walk. They came to the conclusion that not doing the annual walk was never going to be an option. The solution they created was having virtual walks, which have taken place the past two years. They created an app, “Move Spring,” which made it easier to keep track of donations and the number of miles walked. They set out a goal for $75,000 and have been fortunate enough to say that they passed their goal by raising $82,000.

These results caught the eye of Marjan Tavakkolian, a close friend of club leader Hough. She became interested in Walking for Water because she found high school students doing their part for a global cause both refreshing and inspiring. 

Out of respect and admiration, Tavakkolian donated $30,000 to Walking for Water. It is people like her who help make dreams of helping others come true. 

The club students at LBHS are holding their first in-person walk since COVID. It will take place on Sunday, May 22 at the LBHS track from 12-3 p.m. The public is invited to register to join the walk. Participants commit to walk a certain number of miles and sponsors pledge a per mile donation, or they can donate a set amount to further the club’s humanitarian efforts. In addition, art and other goods will be auctioned off, some made by the students. Children will enjoy activities such as face painting while being around other youth who are making a impact.

Can’t make it to the walk? You can still help by donating to www.wisdomspring.org. Visit the website to register and find out more information about Walking for Water and how teens are truly making a difference.

Laguna Beach High School is located at 625 Park Ave., Laguna Beach.

 

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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