Kids brave elements in 28km walk for charity

Kids brave elements in 28km walk for charity
Bryanna (centre) and her schoolmates from the Singapore American School walking along the rail corridor in Bukit Timah from Woodlands to Sentosa yesterday. They raised about $10,000 to build wells in Cambodia.

A heavy downpour, scorching heat and blisters were no obstacles to 13-year-old Bryanna Entwistle and her 22 friends who completed a 28km charity walk from Woodlands to Sentosa yesterday.

Accompanied by chaperones, the girls, aged from 10 to 13, walked for eight hours and raised about $10,000 for the Tabitha Foundation in Cambodia, which helps to provide people there with clean drinking water. The money is enough to build more than 50 wells.

Speaking to The Sunday Times at the finish line on Sentosa Boardwalk, Bryanna said she and her friends, Sabrina Sain, 13, and Sophie Wirt, 12, mooted the idea after learning in school last year that water is a precious commodity that is not available to all in poorer countries.

"My friends and I were touched by the topic and we wanted to raise awareness about it," said Bryanna, who hopes to organise another walk next year.

Last May, the trio embarked on their first "Walk for Water" - a name Bryanna thought up which refers to the long distance some Cambodians walk to fetch water - which was about 26km long and raised about $4,000.

This time, she e-mailed more sponsors and also promoted the walk to her friends and teachers at the Singapore American School, said her parents.

"She's a little firecracker," said Mrs Laura Entwistle, 46, who baked a chocolate cake for the girls to enjoy at the finish line. "We're so proud that she's taken on something by herself and leading it. It's really her project, we're just here to support her."

Sophie's mother, Mrs Erika Wirt, 51, said: "If our girls want to do something, they'll do it with or without us, so we might as well join in."

This article was published on May 18 in The Straits Times.

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