HEBRON — Inspired by a book she read in sixth grade, RHAM High School Senior Sarah Cohen has organized a virtual charity event in hopes of raising $15,000 for a clean water well for a village in the Republic of South Sudan.
“Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right, and I wanted to help in some small way to make that a reality for more people,” Cohen said.
The virtual charity event is set for Saturday, June 13, where Cohen hopes participants will walk for the cause.
The suggested donation to register for the event is $20. The first 25 registrants will receive a free water bottle. Donations of $25 or more will receive a free T-shirt.
Cohen, however, emphasized that the amount of the donation is not important.
“The important thing is to come together and do what is comfortable for each of us with the knowledge that together our impact will be life-changing,” she said. “My goal is to not only raise money, but also to raise awareness of the issue of clean drinking water in our world.”
Cohen was inspired by the book “A Long Walk to Water,” by Linda Sue Park. The book is based on the true story of an 11-year-old refugee, Salva Dut, during the first Sudanese civil war.
“I couldn’t imagine living through the things Salva had survived,” Cohen said.
Cohen said that providing clean drinking water will improve life expectancy and give the villagers a pipeline out of poverty. It will also give women and girls a better opportunity to gain an education instead of spending their days walking miles in search of clean water.
Cohen pointed out how the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of the importance of washing our hands.
“Now, imagine the challenge of living through this pandemic without access to clean water — it’s nearly impossible,” she said.
According to Water for South Sudan, the nonprofit for which Cohen is raising funds, most people in South Sudan have little to no knowledge of the coronavirus pandemic or how to prevent its spread.
The organization has drilled more than 450 new wells and rehabbed over 160 existing wells since 2005.
Cohen hopes that others will find the cause worthy of support and register for the event. She encourages participants to send pictures of themselves walking to share on social media.
“The great thing about a virtual walk is anyone can walk in any location throughout the world,” Cohen said. “We can walk any distance and we walk together on the same day while still observing social distancing requirements.
“It will be exciting to see who walks from the furthest location and who has the most fun with the event,” she added.
To learn more, make a donation, or register for the event, visit
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