Clarkson man to give back through World Vision’s Global 6K for Water initiative

Ben Ochieng. Picture: Martin Kennealey d482016
Ben Ochieng. Picture: Martin Kennealey d482016

HIS childhood experiences of walking 6km to fetch water motivate Ben Ochieng to run in a global fundraising movement to provide clean water in developing countries.

The Clarkson resident spent his childhood in a Ugandan village, and he was five years old when he started walking with other children to collect water for bathing, drinking and washing clothes.

Initially he would carry a 5L jerry can on the 6km trek, and by the time he was eight, he was carrying a 20L can.

“We would walk those 6km three times a day,” he said.

“We were going to school as well – sometimes we would miss school because of the distance.

“When I was about eight or nine, that’s when World Vision came in and built a borehole nearby.

“The 6km was reduced to half a kilometre from our house – it was like Christmas every day.”

Ben Ochieng’s children visited Uganda in 2016.

The machine operator said his childhood was fun and they had adventures mixed “with a bit of hardship”.

When he was nine, his family moved to a bigger town on the bank of the shore of Lake Victoria, Jinja.

“We lived in a house with running water – it was easy to get water,” he said.

Ben Ochieng’s children visited Uganda in 2016.

Mr Ochieng, who moved to Australia in 2011, has three “privileged” children with his wife Belinda, and the older two saw what his childhood was like when they visited Uganda in 2016.

“They are growing up with luxury compared to the way I grew up,” he said.

Later this month, he will take part in World Vision’s Global 6K for Water initiative, raising funds to provide clean water to people in developing countries.

“I was a beneficiary of that – I have to give back,” he said.

Ben Ochieng’s children visited Uganda in 2016.

Mr Ochieng said he had taken part in the fundraiser with True North Church for the past two years, though this was the first year World Vision was running it across Australia.

To register for the May 19 fundraiser or donate, visit www.worldvision.com.au.

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