Addyson Moffitt is an 8-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri. Maurine Chelagat is a 9-year-old from a village in Kenya called Bartabwa. It might not seem as if the girls have much in common. But when they met at a dinner two years ago, in Kansas City, they hit it off. “We had this one little red ball to play with,” Addyson told TIME for Kids. “We didn’t have any electronics or phones, no iPads or TV. It was just us playing.”
The dinner was hosted by the nonprofit group World Vision International. In some parts of the world, people must collect water from a stream or another water source. Often, the water is contaminated. World Vision builds wells, pipelines, and rain catchers in these communities.
Addyson was at the dinner because her family supports World Vision. Maurine was there because her village had been without clean water. World Vision fixed that by building a water station there.
Addyson was inspired by Maurine. “People helped Maurine so she could have clean water. And kids are dying because they don’t have it,” she says. “I want to help.”
FAST FRIENDS Maurine (left) and Addyson together in Chicago in 2017.
WORLD VISION INTERNATIONAL
Races are one way World Vision raises money. The money helps pay for water projects. Runners pledge to run a race. Often, it is a 26-mile marathon or 13-mile half marathon. They ask people to support them by donating to World Vision.
Addyson ran the 2017 Kansas City Half Marathon for World Vision. At 7, she was one of the youngest-ever runners in the race. She had to get special permission to participate.
Addyson spent four months in training. Meanwhile, she started fundraising. By race day, in October 2017, she’d raised more than $20,000. She’s the youngest person in World Vision history to raise more than $10,000. In 2018, Addyson ran again—and raised $36,000. “My goal is for every kid to have clean water,” she says.