by John Longhurst
Inmates walk almost 2,000 kms to raise funds for Africa drought victims
BOWDEN, Alta.—Almost 2,000 kilometres. That’s how far 297 inmates at the Bowden Institute collectively walked Sept. 10 to raise money to help people affected by drought in Ethiopia.
The walk-a-thon, organized by an inmates group with help from Chaplain Bud Sargent, raised as much as $15,000 for a project in that country supported by Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) and implementing member agency World Renew.(The pledges are still being tallied at this time.)
Altogether, the inmates, along with 20 outside volunteers, walked 3,694 laps around the prison’s exercise yard for a total of 1,981 kilometres.
Funds were raised through pledges from families and friends of the inmates, and from prison chapel volunteers and from local Christian Reformed churches in Lacombe—Woody Nook, Wolf Creek and Bethel. People across Canada also donated through the CFGB page.
World Renew will use funds raised by the inmates for its project in the Dugda region on Ethiopia, where it is assisting over 41,000 people with support from the CFGB. The Government of Canada will match the money on a 4:1 basis.
This is the fourth time Bowden inmates have done the walk-a-thon, including last year for CFGB member Nazarene Compassionate Ministries. They plan to do another walk-a-thon for the CFGB next year.