September 24, 2014 - 11:26 AM
KELOWNA – A local non-profit is on the front lines battling a microscopic foe that threatens tens of thousands of West Africans.
Hope for the Nations is a Kelowna-based charity that focuses on empowering at-risk children around the world. They are currently in 20 countries, including Liberia, the country hit hardest by the Ebola virus.
The World Health Organization says there are more than 2,600 known cases of Ebola in West Africa. 1,000 of those are in Liberia alone.
Karen Barkman is the Hope for the Nations director for Liberia. She says many residents there have stopped seeking treatment for other serious diseases like malaria and typhoid because they fear contracting Ebola at the hospitals.
“This is a crisis that will affect us globally if we don’t step in now,” she says. “It has the potential to spread even outside Africa.”
On Sunday September 27 the group is hosting a fundraiser called “Walk a Mile in my Shoes” at Mission Creek Park starting at 3 p.m.
All money raised goes towards providing sanitation education, food and clean drinking water for those areas hit hardest by the outbreak as well as for malaria and typhoid medication.
“It’s a major crisis,” Barkman says. “We’re teaching people with our healthcare teams to do washes properly, how to avoid someone who is sick and we’re teaching mothers how to sanitize properly and protect themselves and their children.”
There will be cookies, hotdogs and drinks provided after the walk and there will also be a prize draw Sunday of a Samsung Galaxy tablet for anyone who raises $50 or more.
Those interested in joining the walk can register at the main entrance Sunday morning. There is no fee however participants are asked to make a small donation or collect pledges from friends and family. If you are unable to join the walk you can still donate at the HFTN website.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014