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Berkshire Kids Walk for Clean Water

By Charlie Deitz

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-903381.mp3

Great Barrington, Ma – Over 400 students from Southern Berkshire County participated in the Peace, Water and Wisdom Walk Thursday afternoon. WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Charlie Deitz reports that the students were helping to raise awareness and money for clean drinking water in the land-locked African nation of Burkina Faso.

In the parking lot of the Monument Valley Middle School in Great Barrington, a teacher is prepping one of about a dozen groups of students for a 3 mile walk, each student is equipped with an empty water jug. The kids are walking to help the efforts of Ena and Esu Anahata, the sole members of The Barka Foundation, whose mission is to provide for the basic necessities of Burkina Faso, here's Esu
"We're walking to a destination where there's a water source,like going to get the water in Burkina."

He says that the average woman in Burkina Faso has to walk about 6 kilometers per day to fetch a pail of water, his partner Ena says they did presentations for almost every class in the area,"We've been talking with them for a few days,asking the questions who doesn't own a pair of shoes or has to drink dirty water.

So they managed to round up just about every student in the middle school, several high school classes, and several groups from the private Waldorf Steiner School on the other end of town. One student named Darius was inspired by the Barka Foundation's message so spearheaded the effort at Waldorf "They showed me what the water looked like and that inspired me to help make the water clean".

Stave Sagarin is the Faculty Chair at Waldorf "He's been working at it for about a month, we like to do things together with the public schools."

Jane Furey is the principal at Monument Valley middle School, she says she and her faculty were thrilled at the chance to participate in the peace water and wisdom walk "This year our school has been involved in a yearlong giving campaign, we can think about the world wide impact of clean water, this may be going into curriculum next year."

The middle school's adjustment counselor Dom Sacco says the year long giving program is helping the students to become better people too "Kids are just more conscientious, saying excuse me and I'm sorry,walking for peace love and water plays right into this year's project."

Ena says they've been raising funds for several months now, and are still short of having the money to get back to Burkina and start the next leg of their mission "Drill one well and fix one well,clean it up and cap it there's a dirty well there and we wnat to start a wash program in the school."

The Barka Foundation will be holding walks like this over the next few weeks.