A local run is having a global impact
To celebrate the new year, Dave Lanphear and his 12-year old son Matthew flew to Ethiopia to visit villages that have been positively impacted by Run for Water, an Abbotsford based non-profit group.
Lanphear is president of Langley-based Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union.
Envision Financial has partnered with Run for Water for close to 10 years through a variety of events and programs, most notably the Envision a Better World program, which is a global citizenship initiative designed to empower students to work towards a world without poverty, disease and injustice.
“Being able to see the direct impact that a local fundraising event (Run for Water) has across the world was pretty powerful,” says Lanphear, an Abbotsford resident.
“As we walked into the village of Gereb Abdella, where a well had been drilled almost a year before our visit, we were greeted by the entire village. They formed lines on both sides of the road and were cheering, clapping and showing their thanks. I’ll never forget that.”
Lanphear and Matthew also visited Tsigeba where one month prior, Letisha’s Well was inaugurated in memory of Letisha Reimer, an Abbotsford student who was fatally stabbed during an incident at her high school in 2016.
Lanphear described the experience saying, “It was an emotional day for sure. Letisha’s family had visited Tsigeba one month prior to open the well in her honour. Being there, and seeing first-hand the legacy that came out of such a horrible tragedy was very powerful for both Matthew and I.”
After being able to participate in such an eye-opening trip, Lanphear reflected fondly on the experience that his son was able to gain.
“I’m thankful that my son Matthew was able to join me on this trip. I think he realized how fortunate he is to live where he lives, but I think more importantly, it connected the dots for both of us on the true impact that a local event can have globally,” Lanphear said.
Randall (Peg) Peters, Executive Director of Run for Water says he’s gratified by how these experiences impact participants of all ages.
“You can see first-hand, the impact that a trip like this has on the way a 12-year-old views the world. Matthew started asking important questions about inequality, why the world is the way it is and the role that we can play to help. It was clear to see a transformation was beginning to take place.”
Over the past 10 years, Run for Water has helped transform more than 40 communities throughout Ethiopia and has raised over $2.5 million dollars which means 100,000 people now have clean water for life.