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New West non-profit raising money to provide clean water in Haiti

HOPE International hosting Move for H20 to provide clean drinking water to thousands of people in Haiti
Hope International contributed
HOPE International staff recently did a 6-kilometre loop at Riverfront Park – carrying jugs of water. The non-profit is raising money for clean drinking water in Haiti.

A New West-based non-profit is raising money to provide clean water for thousands of people in Haiti.

HOPE International is hosting the Move for H20 fundraiser on Saturday, June 18 to raise money to provide cleaning drinking water for 4,989 people in Fon Batis, Haiti. To date, it’s raised just over $43,000 of its $200,000 goal.

"HOPE International first started around a kitchen table in New Westminster by folks who wanted to help families in Ethiopia get clean water in 1975,” said executive director Kim Savage. “Today, that humble start echoes, and we are the only international development agency that is based in New West. We draw so much support from the local community."

HOPE International, whose offices are located on Columbia Street, is hosting the Move for H20 on Saturday, June 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Riverfront Park, 2750 East Kent Ave. South in Vancouver. The fundraiser features a six-kilometre run/walk, a 10 km run (which will also travel through Fraser Foreshore Park in Burnaby), a 1 km kid’s run and a 50-metre toddler dash.

Organizers say people of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate in the fundraiser, and folks who don’t run can join in on activities at the park, a kid’s zone, a variety of booths and a by-donation barbecue at noon.

“Clean water fundamentally changes the lives of everyone who can access it and is often the catalyzing step communities will take to end extreme poverty,” said a press release about the event. “In Fon Batis, that catalyzing step cannot come soon enough.”

Located high in the mountains of western Haiti, families must walk 3 km uphill to reach the Marianne spring, the closest water source.

“As Nazilla, a resident of Fon Batis, says, ‘Without water, we can do nothing. It is life. It represents everything. I cannot imagine my life if water was closer to my home. If it was close, I would have so much more time to do other things like work in my garden. I would be so happy,’” said the press release.

People are invited to register as a team, a family or an individual at moveforh2o.com. Each participant who registers will receive a race package containing a T-shirt, a personalized bib and other goodies.

Founded in New West more than 45 years ago, the HOPE International Development Agency continues to connect donors, volunteers and teams in Canada with opportunities to fuel lasting change around the world through grassroots and sustainable initiatives.

“Clean water is a fundamental human right,” said the press release. “Together we can turn that right into a reality through the Move for H2O on June 18th at Riverfront Park.”

 

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus
Email tmcmanus@newwestrecord.ca

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