Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Maasai Warriors Run For Drinking Water

Although this article is a few days old, I think it is still a very relevant to post. I had planned to post this earlier, but didn't get to it. People raising money for charity is nothing new. Survivors, everyday people, and organizations do it every day. But this story hits with a different impact.

Six Maasai warriors from northern Tanzania jump at the chance to run the London Marathon and raise money to dig wells for safe drinking water.
Six Maasai warriors from northern Tanzania jump at the chance to run the London Marathon and raise money to dig wells for safe drinking water. (By Sang Tan -- Associated Press)

Saturday, April 12, 2008; Page E02

Six Maasai warriors from Tanzania will run in traditional red robes at the London Marathon to bring attention to their drought-stricken country.

The men adorned in beads and carrying shields will be among the professionals and amateurs competing tomorrow. They will run to raise money to dig wells for safe drinking water in their village.

A 40-year drought parched the nomadic people's land and led to the death of many of the warriors' elders, children and cattle.

A discussion during an English language class led to a conversation about the London Marathon. They realized they could raise the $39,400 needed to drill each well for their Eluai village.

"They asked, 'What is a marathon?' " said Paul Martin, a worker with the Greenforce aid agency that has worked with the Maasai for three years. "I explained to them that many people run every year in the London Marathon to raise money for various causes and charities. They found it quite incredible that you can generate funds just by running because this is something they do every day, anyway."

The six lean, leggy warriors -- Isaya, Kesika, Lengamai, Ninna, Nguvu and Taico-- entered the marathon to raise money through sponsorship for their village of about 1,000. Geological surveys of the area found tributaries underground that can be tapped to provide water.

Completing the race shouldn't be too much of a challenge for the men of the Maasai, who number between 500,000 and 1 million and live across an area of east Africa straddling Kenya and Tanzania.

The Eluai villagers roam about 19 miles from home each day with their cattle and run between houses, which can be as far as six miles apart.

1 comment:

Rainmaker said...

Great article! Thanks for passing it on.

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