Running marathons to cure water blindness

 Meet water advocate Mina Guli

From having no interest in running and sports as a child, Mina Guli proceeded to run several marathons to raise awareness on the global water problem. To commemorate her 50th birthday (October 10) and the Global Handwashing Day (October 15), Mina launched #Sweat4Soap, a week-long campaign from October 10 to October 17 2020.

She has been thinking a lot about what it means to have access to water and sanitation during the pandemic. Three billion people do not have this luxury. The idea of the #Sweat4soap Campaign was to get people to walk and run and for each kilometre, a bar of soap was donated to someone in need. In addition to this, for every 100 kilometres walked or run, a Maji bucket (a zero-touch handwashing station) has been donated to a community in Ghana. The idea was to get people to share their runs and walks across social media platforms and to encourage others to join in and support this cause.

The #Sweat4Soap campaign was a huge success with people participating from 50 countries and contributing to a total of 68,831 km walked/run between October 11-17! This means 80,448 soaps and 450 handwashing stations are donated to communities in need. Aqua for All supports Project Maji and helped them with the provision of handwashing stations for this campaign.

Mina’s ultimate goals for the WASH sector are that on March 22, 2023, when the UN hosts a big conference on water, companies, investors and policymakers make enough commitments to reach all the SDG6 targets by 2030. The second goal is to see a world where the water crisis is solved, where the challenges that we are facing as a community are gone, where the demand for water is equal to our supplies available, where water coming out of manufacturing companies is cleaner than the water that went in, and a world where everyone has access to WASH.

Read the interview with Mina Guli.

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