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Press Release: june 2, 2009

An Opportunity to Serve:
A Walk For Water Sparks Student Activism

DERWOOD, MARYLAND and CHANTILLY, VIRGINIA (June 2, 2009) – Amman Imman thanks the Boyd School, the Barrie School, Aidan Montessori and Oneness-Family School for their support and participation in A Walk For Water. We extend a special appreciation to our volunteers, walkers and their sponsors: teachers, family members, friends, and students from the four schools who attended these two Walks, and those who participated through sponsorship donations. Thank You!

May 9, 2009

About 45 children and adults from the Boyd School community gathered at Elanor Lawrence Park for their first annual A Walk For Water. Boyd School middle school teacher Rodney Berthold and his class hosted the Walk, gathering students from seven campuses to participate. Rodney and his students first heard about Amman Imman at the 2007 Global Citizenship Action Project conference in New York City where Ariane Kirtley spoke to over 100 middle school students about the Azawak’s water crisis, inviting them to join the project. Rodney hopes that A Walk For Water will become a yearly tradition at the Boyd School.

See more photos on the Montessori Amman Imman blog here.

May 16, 2009

Close to $5000 has been raised by students from the Barrie School, Aidan Montessori and Oneness-Family School in the 3rd annual A Walk for Water, held at Lake Frank in Derwood, Maryland on May 16th. The Walk has become a very special tradition, an event through which families experience what it means to take action together and make a difference in the world. This year approximately 120 people attended.

Attaher Mohamed, an international student who grew up in the Azawak,
accompanied the students on A Walk For Water

Many stories were shared, illustrating how important Amman Imman’s work in the Azawak has become here in America for the students and families who have become our ardent supporters:

For three years, Ryan has participated in A Walk for Water. For his family, cultivating values of service in their children are very important. Every year with his parent's support, Ryan approaches his friends and neighbors to sponsor his three-mile walk. Although he feels a little shy about asking, he has gotten better and better at explaining the water crisis and how his school's involvement in the Amman Imman project has changed lives in the Azawak. The response from his neighbors, when they give a donation every year, builds his confidence.

Rose's mom says that her daughter makes discerning choices on how to spend her allowance money. She will often choose not to buy a toy or gadget saying, I don't really need that. Yet, when it came time for A Walk for Water, Rose insisted on contributing $100 of her own savings to Amman Imman. (Please note, Rose is not her real name, since she wanted to make this donation anonymously, rather than bring attention to herself.)

Five-year-old twins Kieran and Callum attended A Walk for Water for the 2nd year. Their mom, Christine, a teacher at Oneness-Family School, took her time walking the trail with the boys, their friend Josh, and 11 year old husky dog Colby. For the boys (and for their mom keeping them on the trail!), it was a great achievement to complete these three miles. Christine and her family, including 19 year old Sophie, middle schooler Sebi, and the twins, have made A Walk for Water and raising funds for the children of the Azawak a special event for their family. Even the five-year olds ask their neighbors for money to help the "Aaazawaak".

Of the seven people who sponsored 6th grader Wynne's A Walk for Water this year, her own contribution provided her largest sponsorship. Each year she chooses a charity to donate a portion of her allowance. This year Wynne chose Amman Imman because "everyone deserves to have water." According to the number of sponsorships she collected, Wynne qualifies to receive an incentive prize. However, even if prizes were not offered, Wynne says she still would have approached the same sponsors and asked them for a donation.

Rally Speakers
From left, Attaher Mohamed, Andrew Kutt, Michael Kirtley,
Sara Grossman and Debbie Kahn at the Rally

A brief rally before the Walk served to remind everyone about why they were there. Andrew Kutt from Oneness-Family School, Sara Grossman from Barrie and Suzanne Stork from Aidan Montessori spoke to the students. Michael Kirtley, president of the Friendship Caravan, spoke about the African continent and its generosity. Attaher Mohamed, a Tuareg from the Azawak, spoke about the importance of the Tangarwashane borehole.

Walk coordinator Debbie Kahn spoke about the value of each individual contribution. "Most of the good that is done in the world is not funded by foundations or large corporations, but rather by individuals like you and me. This is a tremendous insight that brings credence to the adage, You can make a difference”, Debbie told the crowd of children and adults. “When we work together, we can really and truly make the world a better place. While bringing life and hope to the Azawak by building boreholes, we also bring life and hope to our own communities and children."

When they finished the Walk, each student received a
certificate with a photo and story about a child from the Azawak

Program Amman Imman is a Washington, D.C.-based program, working in partnership with the American non-profit The Friendship Caravan, For more information, visit:  To read about student efforts to help, visit:



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