Run to the Well 5K is coming to Searcy on Sept. 28 to help raise money for villages in Uganda to have access to clean water and improved sanitation.
Run to the Well is hosted by Kibo Group, a faith-based nonprofit that partners with East Africans to lend a hand in finding solutions to help communities prosper. Kibo works with five programs but the main one that Run to the Well is partnering with is the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) program.
Junior Kayla Stites is a Kibo Group fellow and is one of four Harding students that went to Uganda this summer. She said her favorite race of Run to the Well is the Jerrycan Challenge.
“Ugandans carry water from the wells in jerrycans. It can sometimes be miles before they get to the well, and they have to go back probably three or four times a day,” Stites said. “With the Jerrycan Challenge, you get a team, and you run the 5K holding the Jerrycan the whole time.”
The Run to the Well allows participants to choose from the 5K, 1 mile fun-run, and of course, the Jerrycan Challenge. However, the Jerrycan Challenge is the best representation of what the Ugandans go through on a daily basis. A jerrycan holds 20 liters or 5.2 gallons of liquid.
Junior Kaitlyn Francois, said her experience in Uganda was one she’ll never forget.
“It was absolutely life changing, very humbling. It taught me a lot about determination just seeing what they go through,” Francois said.
All proceeds from Run to the Well go to help impoverished communities, but even if you can’t register for the race, Francois said there are other ways to help.
Midnight Oil proceeds benefit Kibo, for example. “So even choosing to buy your coffee from there or following us on Instagram to keep up with updates, or applying to the fellowship,” Francois said.
Junior Carissa Caples, got involved because of former fellows Hannah Beck and Amelia Lewis. After hearing about the impact Kibo had in their hearts, Caples couldn’t help but get plugged in.
“I encourage everyone who can to sign up for Run to the Well. Kibo is all about community,” Caples said, “Come have fun running with your community while helping Ugandans with theirs.”