Valerie Jarvis balances water on her head while doing the Water Ambassadors Canada walkathon at Haliburton’s Gelbe Park on the weekend. Carrying water is a reality for many people who live in parts of the world where clean water is scarce. /Photo courtesy of Ursula Devolin

Water Ambassadors fundraiser surpasses its goal

By Jenn Watt

Despite the rain, about a dozen people came out to the Water Ambassadors Canada walk in Haliburton on Sunday, Oct. 4, with about 60 in total around Ontario, raising funds for clean drinking water and sanitation equipment in places such as South and Central America and Africa.

June Devolin and granddaughter, Molly Devolin. Participants had the opportunity to carry buckets or jugs of water to represent the water many people have to carry daily. /Photo courtesy of Ursula Devolin

Organizer Ursula Devolin said the event surpassed the local Haliburton goal of $10,000. More than $27,000 was raised across the province.

In addition to providing clean drinking water, Water Ambassadors Canada’s work is specifically assisting with mitigating COVID-19 spread through the provision of hand-washing stations. According to United Nations figures, basic water services are absent from a quarter of health-care facilities around the world.

“WAC has worked with partners in Uganda to help provide hand washing stations outside public buildings,” Devolin said. “We all know how important hand washing is, especially during a pandemic. We have the ability to help slow or stop the spread of coronavirus in places that lack adequate health care in the first place. A lot of the places we work in have no ventilators – we all need to work together to reduce the spread, and clean water and soap is [an important] way to fight it.”

A child washes up at the hygiene station in Uganda. Water Ambassadors Canada helped supply the hand washing equipment outside the public building. /Photo courtesy of Ursula Devolin