Source: The Daily Fairfield
From left, Courtney Nettler, Rebecca Chen, Christina Elmore and Annabelle Wanner raise money for Ludlowe Corps' projects.
Annabelle Wanner and Courtney Nettler needed to find a way to attract more attention. Sure, they had already collected a good share of donations by stopping passersby around Fairfield Center. But they still felt they could do more to get noticed. So the Roger Ludlowe Middle School students hopped into trees lining Unquowa Road, putting their personal safety aside. After all, two villages in Ecuador were depending on their fundraiser.
“We’re not sure if this is legal,” Annabelle said of their makeshift signpost. “But it makes a good advertisement.”
Annabelle and Courtney are two members of Ludlowe Corps, a group of middle school students who raise money for international charities. The signs they carried Sunday were to promote Walk for World Water, their second annual walkathon to support three major initiatives. The money will go toward education and flood relief for Guinaw Rails, a slum in the African nation of Senegal. And it will also continue to offer help in Haiti, which was hit by an earthquake last year.
The project that interested Annabelle and her father Uwe, though, is an 11-day trip to the remote Amazon regions of Ecuador. In mid-April, they and 13 other parent-student pairs will head to the South American country with four Ludlowe teachers. They will visit the Ongota and Tambayacu tribes, two groups of indigenous people who rarely have contact with the outside world.
“I told my daughter she’s going to have to have an explanation for [her braces,]” Uwe said. The Ludlowe Corps group will bring 40 handheld water filtration systems to the Ongota and Tambayacu. Uwe demonstrated the remarkable abilities of the filters Sunday afternoon. Taking gray water from a bucket filled with twigs, sand and grime, he pumped out a glass of clear, crisp water. For the indigenous tribes, the filters will help clear out bacteria that cause cholera and other diseases.
Uwe took his older son on the trip last spring. They arrived just after a devastating flood hit the Ongota. So the Ludlowe volunteers helped clean debris and rebuild homes, along with delivering the much-needed filters. He was so moved by his trip that he will take Annabelle, now an eighth-grader herself, to so the same in three weeks.
“Ecuador itself is very nice,” Uwe said. “But once you get over the Andes, into the Amazon rainforest, that’s where the problems are.”
Walk For Water will take place Sunday, March 27, at Fairfield Ludlowe High School’s football field.