Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Friends Walk 1,400 Miles to Help Haitians Access Safe Drinking Water

Imagine walking 4 miles a day, up to 1,400 miles a year just to get water. Allen Barker and Hugh Mason say children in Haiti have to do just that to survive.

These two friends set out on a path with one goal in mind, to change the water crisis in Haiti. They are making their way from Lake Worth, Florida to Lawrence, Kansas - making the entire trip, on foot.

"I just wanted to do something with my life that actually meant something and as I looked into what was going on in this world I found our water was a huge crisis," said Barker.

What Barker did was start a foundation called "Lighting the Dark" and with the help of his best friend.  Barker adds they are going to raise enough money to get 33 water wells drilled in Haiti. Each well cost $5,000 to make.

"These kids go to pools that are dirty water.... When they're walking back they're carrying about five gallons, that's fifty pounds of water," co-founder Hugh Mason said.

They've been walking for 23 days, rain or shine. News Leader 9 caught up with the duo heading down Highway 280 towards Birmingham. They say they've hit a few snags along the way.  The guys told us they'd walked about 13 miles so far. The duo hopes to make it to Kansas by late April.

"It's been an adventure, the first week we thought we had the right shoes but they weren't and we got blisters and sore feet," said Mason.

Mason says they are taking everything in stride. 100% of the money raised goes to the water wells. They survive on the road with donations from hotel rooms to food; given to them by locals. They also carry along a tent just in case they have to sleep outside.

"We take Sundays off to let our bodies recuperate; we do about 30 miles a day. We went to North Highland Assembly of God Church [in Columbus] and they put us up for the night."

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