Make a difference
Tuesday, Mar 14, 2017 06:00 am
There are few opportunities quite like the one to make a difference in the life of someone else.
The second-annual Sports for Ethiopia, which runs March 17-18 at the Rotary Spirit Centre, is just such an opportunity.
The multi-facetted fundraiser, put on by Westlock-based charity Rainbow for the Future, will feature a day-long hockey game, walking, running and cycling, while funds raised this year will contribute to a clean-drinking-water project in the Koka Reservoir in Oromia, located roughly in the centre of Ethiopia.
Rainbow for the Future chairman Leo Seguin has made several trips to Ethiopia to view work funded by the organization, including schools, technical schools, water projects and other humanitarian projects. As quoted in our story last week Seguin says: “Poverty in Canada is like a sprained ankle. In Ethiopia, it is like a heart attack.”
While we would never downplay the importance of donating time and money to local initiatives, this event take things to a whole new level. Helping a child pay for his hockey equipment is a noble cause, but helping a community access a basic need of life can change the course of history.
We live in an era of massive population movements, where people are often giving up on their local governments and taking perilous journeys across deserts and oceans to seek a better life — resettling refugees has become an almost daily topic of discussion.
The often-cited argument of, “Why don’t we help people here first?” ties into all this quite well.
By helping people make their own homes livable, we ensure they won’t have to pack up and move just to access basic nutrition and clean drinking water.
Last year the event raised $84,575 to help Kuriftu, a community wracked by HIV outbreaks. The dollars helped build Dode School, supported children orphaned by the struggles of life in the region and helped the area’s women get back on their feet.
For a town of just over 5,000 people, the amount raised is an incredible accomplishment.
So if you’ve yet to sign up to participate it’s not too late. It’s a small price to pay to help make the world a better place.