Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

Ultra run across Sahara

In keeping with the THDblog interest in inspirational personal challenges (see a previous post “Ride for World Health“) an upcoming documentary about an ultra-run across the Sahara also has a public health subtext – bringing clean water to communities across the Sahel and Sahara regions.

Coordinated in part by the ONE campaign, the run has received a good deal of attention on blogs and news outlets. Matt Damon’s production company and the National Geographic are involved in the film.

The charitable aspects of the run are outlined in a Dec 5 Gnet news release.

The money raised by H2O Africa will fund activities of leading charitable organizations and NGO’s that have experience and current programs on the ground in Africa. As the Running the Sahara Expedition crosses Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya, and Egypt, it will identify key areas of need for clean water programs and H2O Africa will turn to its group of charitable partners to address those areas of need. A key advisor to H2O Africa in the selection of charitable partners is the ONE Campaign. Oversight of H2O Africa programs and initiatives will mainly come through progress-based grant agreements.

It’s a lot of hype with a humanitarian element that will hopefully respond to local need. Stories of overcoming adversity (self-imposed or otherwise) can be powerful narratives that spark a greater or systematic improvement. Witness Michael Fay’s trek (“Megatransect“) across Central Africa in 2004 and the boost to conservation that followed. Or Emmanuel Yeboah’s bike ride across Ghana, despite having only one leg, (“Emmanuel’s Gift“) that changed the way people and institutions treat the disabled.

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Written by Ben

December 8, 2006 at 2:39 am

Posted in Global Health, Water

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