By Ursa Goldenrose and Ava Stratman, class of 2028
It all started in 1985. A young man from South Sudan named Salva ran away from the civil war in his country. The book, A Long Walk To Water, follows two children, Salva and Nya in two different times: 1985 and 2008. Salva’s story was true. He decided that he wanted to do something to help. So, he founded Water For South Sudan. It is an organization that raises money to build wells in remote villages in South Sudan.
Hazen Union has done this walk for three years; this was the fourth. Every year, since 2018, the middle school students walk ten miles from Hazen to Caspian Lake, in Greensboro. This year, only the 7th grade went. Over the past three years, we have raised enough money to partially sponsor the drilling of two wells in a remote village in South Sudan. The Iron Giraffe Challenge--named for the shape of the well drilling equipment-- is a well sponsorship program that is part of the Water for South Sudan organization. On September 21, the class of 2028 did our long walk to water.
All Hazen students were in front of the school on the morning of September 21 to see the 7th grade off as they started their walk. Students began by walking up Bridgman Hill Road. We stopped at aid stations at the top of Bridgman Hill and a house at the halfway point. There were snacks like crackers and cheese and cookies, and water and cider for water bottles. We started at 8:20 am and arrived at Caspian at 1:00 pm. The last mile of our walk was on paved roads and we were escorted by Greensboro fire trucks from the ball field in Greensboro to the public beach at Caspian Lake. After arriving back at the school, we had a lunch potluck that parents of 7th-graders provided.
Walking to Caspian was a way to find empathy for and understanding of what billions of people do every day; walking in search of water. This helped us better understand what Nya and Salva had to do every day, in the book A Long Walk To Water that the 7th grade read together in English class.
The walk was memorable. Through pain and complaints, we finally made it. Our class will be registering for the 2022-2023 Iron Giraffe Challenge and we’ll be working to raise $5,000 so that another village in Southern Sudan can have access to clean water. We are motivated and we’ll start our fundraising campaign the week of Monday, October 31. If you would like to learn more about Salva’s story, please visit the Water for South Sudan website.
If you would like to donate to our fundraiser, please visit our class fundraising page. Click on the student’s name under whom you’d like to donate. Remember, our page should be set up the week of Monday, October 31.