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Workout for Water: the real impact

How wonderful it is to not only have an impact on the people in front of you doing what you do – but also the opportunity to help those on the other side of the world: literally saving lives.

Taking regular classes and supercharging them on 18 November was Move the World: Workout for Water, a UNICEF and Les Mills collaboration – a day of global fundraising to pay for the build of clean water pumps in East Africa.

A single clean water pump costs USD414. Australia and South East Asia contributed to building 80 water pumps. Globally, the amount raised will build 1365. Tony Stuart, CEO of UNICEF Australia says that these funds go a long way in a county like South Sudan where millions of children require access to safe water – a real example Stuart says is Angelina who used to walk two hours to fetch water from a dirty river. Now it takes her only five minutes to walk to her children’s school in Bentiu to collect water thanks to a newly installed water pump.

Ken Mun – from Malaysia jumped on board the Workout for Water initiative, which escalated quickly for the Les Mills Asia Pacific SH’BAM Presenter. At first his involvement was simply donating to various fundraising pages. From there he decided to set up his own page with a goal of raising enough funds for one pump: in the end raised enough for almost three! When you sit back and contemplate the impact this will have on a community simply through teaching a class it’s mind-blowing to think you have literally saved lives.

For the day Ken pulled together a playlist of tracks he felt were meaningful to the cause and put a shout out on his social channels (including translating his message in to other languages as Ken has trained instructors in Thailand and Vietnam). “I wanted to raise awareness in these countries so hopefully one instructor will start the movement in their homeland”. To build the anticipation for the day, Ken started replying to every single one of his donors with a teaser that they had a special gift waiting for them when they attended the Workout for Water class: a Workout for Water tee-shirt. “Everyone was in to it dancing in their tees and was so happy their little effort of donating had been acknowledged”.

That little effort has more far reaching effects than they will ever know. Not only is clean water now accessible, but the impact on the entire community includes higher attendance at the local Bentiu primary school. The Head Teacher says because of the clean water, a feeding program was implemented which translates to higher attendance rates “good things are happening now”.

“Thanks to all of you, we’ll be helping many more communities, including hospitals and schools so more mothers like Angelina can keep their children safe now and into the future. My heartfelt thanks goes to all the instructors, gyms and participants who made this possible,” – Tony Stuart CEO, UNICEF