Runners Lace Up Shoes To Give Ugandan Children Clean Drinking Water

PITTSFORD, N.Y.--They were jamming, and socializing. All while surrounded by bottles filled with clean, safe, water.

"I pray to God that he opens people's eyes so they can understand the story of Uganda, because the story of Uganda is so far removed from most people's experiences," George Nsamba, of Uganda said.

Nsamba is a teacher and said it was hard to make sure his students received a decent education because they were always sick with water borne diseases.

"Many times the kids were share water saucers with the animals," Nsamba said.

Nsamba added it wasn't uncommon for children to die before the age of five from complications due to no clean drinking water.

"Some wells, if you look at them with your naked eye, you can see the living organisms being drawn up by these people," Nsamba explained.

But his village doesn't have to worry about that anymore, thanks to the Ugandan Water Project.

"My people just got so excited and got involved because we received the benefits," Nsamba said.

That's how Nsamba got here, to the sixth annual Ugandan Water Project 5k. Runners pinned on their bibs to raise money for the organization to help more needy villages in Uganda.

"Water touches everything," James Harrington, Executive Director of Ugandan Water Project said. "It helps create jobs, it put kids in school and it creates stability in the home."

Harrington started the organization back in 2007. So far more than 200 projects have been funded, bringing fresh drinking water to more than 60,000 Ugandans. All in an effort to help children and their families break out of poverty, one clean drink at a time.

"Their food supply is already unstable, so they are malnourished," Harrington said. "So, to not have clean water on top of that just really amplifies the challenges and barriers of good education."

As runners crossed the finish line, waiting for them was more clean water. A refreshing reminder of what they've just run for.

"This goes far beyond what they see here in the U.S.," Nsamba said.

Organizers hope to raise up to $20,000 from Saturday's run. 

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