Embrace Relief is thrilled to announce the success of our second-annual H2Ow Far Can You Walk 5K Walkathon to raise money and awareness for clean water in Africa!
Our in-person walkathon event welcomed dozens of guests on a sunny, gusty Sunday morning, May 21, at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ, while thousands more pledged their support through a partnership with the Sweatcoin app.
Proceeds from the 5K Walkathon will support Embrace Relief’s Fountains of Hope program, which since 2021 has reconstructed more than 150 broken or abandoned water wells in the African countries of Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria, providing clean water to tens of thousands of vulnerable people. Fountains of Hope is one aspect of Embrace Relief’s Clean Water Initiative, which is currently providing more than 800,000 people in Africa with clean drinking water. A portion of the proceeds will also support the relief efforts for victims of the February earthquakes in Turkey in Syria.
“Today was a great event for a great cause,” said Embrace Relief CEO Osman Dulgeroglu. “We are thrilled to be back at Liberty State Park and to share this experience with all of the people who came out. Everyone who supports this cause is making an incredible impact on the lives of people in Africa who are not fortunate enough to have access to clean water. We look forward to organizing this 5K next year and continuing to help as many people as we can.”
‘A beautiful thing’
Guests began arriving at the event site shortly after 8:30 a.m. Sunday, with turnout eventually exceeding the number of walkers from the inaugural 5K in 2022. They were welcomed by a host of volunteers, who graciously gave their time and energy to the cause. Their duties included setting up the event stage, registering guests, handing out free food and water, and encouraging walkers to take selfies against the backdrop of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor.
Prior to the walk, many guests also took part in “The Challenge,” an interactive area in which they could walk 50 yards while carrying 30-pound water cans. This exercise is meant to evoke the reality for many women and girls in water-scarce Africa, who must walk for miles each day – typically carrying twice as much weight – to fetch water for their families.
The event then began at 9:45 with remarks from Dana Coppola, Embrace Relief project coordinator, and Dulgeroglu. They welcomed a pair of guest speakers: Lauren Brzozowski, a bobsled pilot and 2026 Winter Olympics hopeful for Team USA;, and Jersey City Ward F City Councilman Frank E. Gilmore, whose jurisdiction includes Liberty State Park.
“Everyone who is here today is showing their humanity,” Councilman Gilmore said during his remarks. “This is a beautiful thing. We’re all here as one, joining together to help our fellow people. As an elected official, as an African American, and more importantly, as a human being, I’m proud to be here today to support our brothers and sisters in Africa with this clean water cause.”
The walk began shortly after 10 a.m., with the crowd filing down a walkway beside the Hudson River, eventually looping around the southern tip of Liberty State Park, near Flag Plaza, before returning just over an hour later.
Throughout the day on May 21, more than 12,000 people worldwide joined the walkathon virtually through the Sweatcoin app, pledging their steps and virtual currency in support of the clean water cause. Additionally, more than 165,000 Sweatcoin users have joined the “30 Billion Step Challenge,” an initiative running through May 31 that also supports the Fountains of Hope program.
Embrace Relief would like to thank all of our partners and event sponsors for their support in putting on this fantastic event:
About The H2Ow Far Can You Walk 5K Walkathon
The idea for a 5K Walkathon for clean water is a reflection of the harsh reality that millions of people in water-scarce parts of Africa live through every day. In countries like Chad, Nigeria and Cameroon, women and children are tasked with collecting water for their families each day, traveling many miles per day to reach distant sources of water. Often, this water is found in unprotected rivers, lakes and ponds, and carries diseases that kill millions of people – a large portion of which are children under the age of 5 – each year.
Embrace Relief is addressing this crisis by building and reconstructing water wells in these countries, taking advantage of central Africa’s vast resources of underground freshwater to ease this burden and reduce disease, suffering, poverty and women’s inequality. As of May 2023, Embrace Relief has built and reconstructed more than 800 wells, ensuring that more than 800,000 people have the opportunity to thrive.
Our annual 5K Walkathon, which supports the rebuilding of broken wells, is therefore an opportunity for us to walk now so that people in Africa won’t have to in the future.
About Embrace Relief
Embrace Relief is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Fairfield, New Jersey, whose mission is to deliver research-based, sustainable solutions to achieve immediate and lasting improvements in situations of humanitarian emergency and improving the quality of life of individuals and communities enduring chronic hardships.
Embrace Relief has grown over the years to become an internationally recognized relief organization that works to bring relief to people in need regardless of race, religion, or gender to improve their quality of life. Since 2013, we have provided aid to millions of people under the guidance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with the overall aim of reducing global poverty and suffering.
Donate today to Embrace Relief’s Clean Water Initiative or Fountains of Hope project and you can help us move one step closer to solving the clean water crisis in Africa. A donation of any amount would be a gift that will impact thousands of people for years to come.
* $1,300 will ensure the reconstruction of a water well – in your name (or any name you wish!) in Africa. *