What are the unforgettable moments in your life? It could have been when you drove a car for the first time or got your first paycheck. Or when your favorite sports team won a game or even a championship. What about marrying the love of your life or holding your baby in your arms for the first time? Or that moment when you realized how much the people in your life love you?
For 44-year-old Nicole Wetmore, meeting her sponsored child, 5-year-old Grace, in Uganda became one of her unforgettable moments.
“Just when you feel your heart is full and you can’t take in another thing because you’ve had so many great experiences, or you’ve learned so much, God has a way of breaking your heart again, but in the best possible way,” says Nicole, the local and global missions pastor at Green Valley Community Church in Placerville, California. “It’s a glimpse of allowing us to feel the love he has for people and the way his heart breaks when he sees his people hurting and in need.”
Her unforgettable moment wouldn’t have been possible without the Global 6K for Water. Back in May 2018, the second year Nicole served as Green Valley’s Global 6K host site leader, her race bib featured Grace.
“I walked on behalf of Grace because it’s a small way for me to contribute to a greater cause,” she says.
Every Global 6K participant provides clean water to one person in the developing world through the $50 registration fee, and their race bib has the picture, name, and age of a child who will benefit from World Vision’s clean water work.
“These are real people with real issues, and real hopes, and real dreams, and they are facing real challenges too,” Nicole says.
Six kilometers, a little more than 3.7 miles, is the average distance round trip that women and children in the developing world walk for water. Imagine carrying 44 pounds of water in a 20-liter jerrycan on the way home from the water source. If that’s not enough, 15 liters is considered a bare minimum water supply for one person, so you’ll need to make a few more trips.
The thought of her three sons walking for water — water often contaminated with life-threatening diseases — puts the Global 6K in perspective for Nicole.
“I don’t think about water at home. I walk to the faucet and turn it on,” she says. “And I’m often complaining if it’s not getting hot or cold fast enough. To think that if we didn’t have access to water, I’d have to send my kids off to go collect water for our family — it would be significant.”
That knowledge drives Nicole to tell everyone she knows about the global water crisis and how they can make a difference through the Global 6K.
“One of the most surprising things for me was hearing how excited everybody else was about rallying around clean water and participating in the Global 6K,” Nicole says. “When it doesn’t affect you directly, you think people are disinterested. But then when you’re able to explain what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, it’s pretty cool to have so many people come together for such a great cause.”
How many exactly? Nearly 170 people participated in Green Valley’s Global 6K in 2018 — everyone from families with strollers carrying both children and dogs to a marathon runner who helped measure the course so that it was exactly 6K.
“I’m not a runner,” Nicole says. “I’m barely a walker sometimes, but the Global 6K is something anyone can participate in. If you can move, you can be involved — even if you can’t walk it. We had volunteers that couldn’t participate but were involved in the process because they have a heart for people and a heart for kids and it was important to them. So just do it.”
Later that day and the next morning during weekend church services, Green Valley continued to educate their congregation on the global water crisis and how each of them can impact a child’s life in a powerful way.
“With Celebration Sunday, we get to not only celebrate what’s happened with the Global 6K, but also take a look at child sponsorship in a different way,” Nicole says. “We didn’t choose where we were born. Some of us ended up here in Placerville and some of us ended up in countries in Africa.”
Nicole says it’s significant that participants can continue the relationship with the child on their race bib by sponsoring them — an opportunity to develop a friendship with a child on the other side of the world and show them the love of God, which brings hope and lifelong transformation.
“When I heard about [Grace’s] story and the needs that her family has, I was really blown away and touched that I would be able to sponsor her,” Nicole says.
That choice to sponsor Grace led Nicole to travel more than 9,000 miles to Morungatuny, Uganda, in October 2018, where Grace greeted her with a beaming smile. Nicole’s smile was just as bright.
“Visiting this community and seeing it firsthand puts a whole other layer on making this relationship very personal,” Nicole says. “Even though I had some information about this little girl and her community on a card, meeting her really brings it home and makes you think about your own family and your own circumstances.”
Nicole couldn’t help but notice the stark contrast.
“I can’t imagine sending my 5-year-old, let alone my 5-year-old and my 3-year-old, off to go fetch water in such dangerous conditions,” Nicole says. “It’s heartbreaking to think about, and yet this is her responsibility in her family. And in spite of all that, she’s warm, she’s funny, she likes to play, and she likes to do all the same things my kids used to like to do.”
But despite Grace’s current circumstances, Nicole knows there is hope.
“The work World Vision is doing here is so significant in these communities,” she says. “Certainly, access to clean water is vital, but the dignity and value that they bring to life with issues like sanitation and child protection, it is amazing how the leadership here is investing in the community and empowering community leaders and people from this region to take ownership of their community. It’s incredible.”
Grace is one of 36 kids sponsored through the 2018 Global 6K for Water and Celebration Sunday at Green Valley, contributing to more than 2,000 children sponsored through the 2018 Global 6K. And for Nicole, as she remembers her unforgettable moment meeting Grace, there’s greater meaning behind Green Valley’s Global 6K for Water and Celebration Sunday this year.
“It’s something we’re all called to do — to help, serve, and love those in need,” Nicole says. “Whether it’s in our backyard or across the globe, this is something every church, every organization can participate in. We can all do something together to solve the global water crisis.”
How you can help end the global water crisis
- Learn more about clean water and how you can be part of the movement to end the global water crisis by 2030.
- Join us in praying that more and more communities, including Grace’s, would have access to clean water.
- Walk or run the Global 6K for Water on May 4, 2019, to provide life-changing clean water to one person in need. You’ll walk or run with the picture of the child receiving clean water through World Vision’s water projects.
- Give a monthly gift to provide clean water to communities lacking it. Your ongoing gift creates lasting change in a community.
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On the eve of the 2016 Kansas City Half Marathon, the Holy Spirit planted a dream in 7-year-old Addyson Moffitt’s heart: see every kid have clean water in her lifetime.
She’d learned about a little girl in Kenya named Maurine and that many kids like her don’t have clean water.
“I wanted to help them,” says Addyson, now 10. “I didn’t feel that it was fair that they had to go do that, and I just have to go to my refrigerator and get clean water.”
So she told her mother she wanted to run the half marathon next year and raise funds for clean water.
In the days that followed, Addyson peppered her mom and dad, Shayla and Bryan, with questions — when does training start, when can she start fundraising, how can she fundraise.
“That’s when we knew it was real,” Shayla says. “It wasn’t just a 7-year-old who had an inspiring evening.”
Shayla and Bryan prayed, asking God to lead them and Addyson as she began fundraising toward a $1,310 goal to represent the 13.1 miles she’d be running. When the half marathon arrived in October 2017, Addyson had raised more than $20,000.
She finished the race, and her mission only grew “because, you know, we can’t stop fundraising and running until the water crisis ends.”
Around then, her family sponsored two children who live in Maurine’s community. They began writing letters and sending school photos as well as praying for them and Maurine.
In spring 2018, the family ran the Global 6K for Water together for the second year in a row.
“It’s not a race. It’s not who comes in first. It’s not who has the best time,” Shayla says. “It is finding purpose and knowing that when you move one foot in front of another, you are impacting a life clear across the world.”
By the 2018 Kansas City Half Marathon in October, Addyson had raised more than $60,000. She ran again, and then in November, she appeared on The Steve Harvey Show to share her story. He surprised her with $5,000 toward her fundraising and a trip for Addyson and her family to visit Kenya in the spring to meet their sponsored child and visit Maurine.
Addyson hopes to raise another $60,000 this year, and she’s planning to run in the Global 6K for Water with her family on May 4.
“Don’t let anybody take down your big dreams,” Addyson says. “People might tell you that you’re too young, you’re too small, but don’t listen to them. Just always go for your dreams and don’t let anyone stop you.”
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In the foothills of the lush Western El Salvador mountains, clean natural springs cascaded down ridgelines and bypassed an enclave of families living in poverty who are unable to access the fresh water.
Here in rural San Julian is also the birthplace of Leonardo Britay Regalado, a former sponsored child who gained an unquenchable thirst for service and justice.
Across El Salvador, the 13-year civil war had unleashed unspeakable violence, tremendous loss, and the upheaval of its people during the 1980s. The conflict forced thousands, including Leonardo’s parents, from lucrative metropolitan areas into the secluded foothills for their family’s survival.
His father and namesake, Leonardo Sr., farmed tirelessly by growing corn and beans, modest and reliable crops needed to feed his family and for income. Dena, his mother, sold fruit from their trees. It often wasn’t enough for the parents of three. “Sometimes we had only a few tortillas and salt,” remembers Dena.
With no running water at home, they bought bottles of clean water from the nearby town for drinking and cooking, and they bathed in the local river, a waterway littered with trash.
Growing up, Leonardo was bothered that there were pristine springs in the nearby foothills, but government officials never piped the water consistently to his community.
He remembers how powerless he felt.
Fifteen years later, the kind and quiet Leonardo has grown formidable, becoming the leader he previously sought.
‘The biggest blessing’
At 7, Leonardo’s life changed through child sponsorship. “I thought it was good because it meant I could go to school,” he remembers. Because sponsorship funded his school supplies, shoes, and uniform, his family could spend their limited income on food and water, and he could attend school full time.
also provided Leonardo’s family with food, and his mother learned about child nutrition through World Vision programs.
“It was the biggest blessing,” his mom says. “It was a blessing from God that people cared so much to help us.”
It was a blessing from God that people cared so much to help us.—Dena Britay Regalado
Leonardo spent his time after school in the fields helping his dad. “He was always a hard worker,” remembers Dena. In his spare time, he also worked on other farms to support his family by picking bananas, oranges, mangoes, and corn.
Dena remembers the day her son returned home, bug-bitten and exhausted, with the resolution to have a professional career.
Leonardo’s formidable future
As he grew, he spent more of his days with World Vision. At age 14, he enrolled in World Vision’s community leadership training, a program that guides teens to identify community problems and find solutions.
As a teen, he served as president of the Child and Youth Board of San Julian. He taught other children to dream bigger for themselves and their communities and to take the practical steps to make it happen. He encouraged other kids to stay in school.
Leonardo is grateful for his sponsor. His sponsor’s sacrifice motivated him to invest in his own community. He says other children who were not sponsored often dropped out of school or migrated.
He’s lost friends to the gang violence that has gripped El Salvador, but the lessons and values he learned from World Vision have set a different path for him. Leonardo calls World Vision “his second school.” Their training taught him a culture of peace, service, and integrity — values essential to the person he is now. It’s what he teaches young people. It’s what he lives every day, he says.
In 2001, when Leonardo was 16, a massive earthquake struck the region. The family’s wood-and-tin home collapsed, so they lived under a plastic tarp under the trees. World Vision helped rebuild homes throughout the community, including theirs, out of sturdy concrete.
A year later, he volunteered with World Vision to monitor and evaluate their programs, working his way through high school and the university to gain his bachelor’s degree. He knew he wanted to become someone who could help his community in practical ways.
Now as the manager of the city water utility, Leonardo ensures that people throughout the region have clean water. As a civil servant, he is making the change he dreamed about as a child.
“For years before I got this job, I would ask the former water manager why they couldn’t fix my community’s pipes to access clean water.” He was told that they just didn’t have the budget. “‘No, we can’t’ is all I heard,” Leonardo says. “But I said, ‘Yes, we can.’”
Now, he has found efficiencies within the same budget to make sure pipes and the pumping station provide clean water to his community and many others. No one should have to go without clean water, he says.
“I learned from my mom how to be humble and strong,” Leonardo says.
Dena’s gratitude runs deep for her son’s sponsor. “I’m so grateful for people who help children around the world. I see God’s love through them. They love others like themselves and make sacrifices to help,” says Dena.
“Leonardo is the greatest gift from God,” says his mom. “It’s been my dream that my children would be respected and useful to society.” He’s recognized throughout San Julian for the work he’s done to make the community better.
As she reflects on how proud she is of her son, tears well up in her eyes and spills down her face. “These are tears of joy,” she says.
Leonardo’s dad has been unable to speak since a stroke 13 years ago. But as his mom speaks, a tear runs down his dad’s cheek. It speaks volumes of how proud he is of Leonardo.
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Throughout my career, one subject has been near and dear to my heart: return on investment (ROI).
As a Wharton MBA holder, and later in my 20 years at Procter & Gamble, I obsessed over this measure. I demanded a high ROI from the projects proposed to me, and I drove my teams for even higher returns. Every year, every quarter, every day, I was consumed by the relentless pursuit of greater productivity for every dollar.
When I made the switch from the corporate world to World Vision — from for-profit to for-impact — I discovered that return on investment is even more important. Here, the ROI is saving people’s lives for kingdom impact.
If you’re aiming for a dramatic and lasting change in a community, clean water is the key. Water-related diseases like diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, and typhoid can take down the toughest gladiator, so imagine what they do to a young child. Every day, nearly 1,000 children under 5 die from problems associated with contaminated water and poor sanitation. Clean water can change that number to zero.
Through World Vision’s water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs, we reach one new person every 10 seconds and three more schools every day with clean water. We have deep experience, tried and tested solutions, and a bold plan to reach everyone, everywhere we work with clean water by 2030.
With our presence in nearly 100 countries, the trust we develop within communities, and God’s continued help, we will get it done.
Dorcas’ community desperately needed an investment, and it came from World Vision sponsors.—Edgar Sandoval Sr., World Vision U.S. president
This work came alive for me when I visited Zambia in 2015 and met 9-year-old Dorcas. This tough little girl was taking care of her grandmother — making sure she took her HIV medicine — as well as cooking, cleaning, and getting water every day. With all of these responsibilities, Dorcas didn’t have much time for school.
I saw the pond where Dorcas used to get water. It was shared by animals, which often fell in — and sometimes couldn’t get out. A dog once drowned and decomposed in that pond, but the villagers had no choice but to continue to draw water there.
Dorcas’ community desperately needed an investment, and it came from World Vision sponsors.
After engineers installed borehole wells, Dorcas had fresh water to drink practically next to her house.
And everything changed: Her grandmother’s health improved, Dorcas returned to school, and she shot to number five in her class. “I want to be first!” she told me. I know she’ll get there.
I have no hesitation telling investors large and small that WASH is a great investment. But here’s the catch: The high return is not for you. It’s for a childlike Dorcas and her entire community, freeing them from the risks and restraints of contaminated water.
Along with that life-changing return, there can be an eternal benefit. At World Vision, Christ is at the center of all we do, and our water programs provide an opportunity, at the right time and in the right way, to share about Jesus, the Source of “living water.”
We are honored to invest in solutions to the global water crisis. Beyond this, is there any better return than the potential of new life in Jesus, who promises that we will never be thirsty again?
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Cholera is an intestinal infection caused by bacteria. The disease is often contracted from drinking unclean water. Each year, 1.3 million to 4 million people around the world suffer from cholera and 21,000 to 143,000 people die of the disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Most people who contract cholera show no symptoms, but in some cases, severe diarrhea, dehydration, and death occur within hours of onset.
Cholera is easily treated with oral rehydration solution, though people with severe cases need intravenous fluid replacement. With the right rehydration treatment, fewer than 1 percent of cholera patients die.
Cholera is a high risk in sub-Saharan Africa where clean water and sanitation are often lacking. The disease crops up in other parts of the world when conflict or natural disasters damage water systems and displace families.
The long-term solution to the global scourge of cholera is in providing access to clean water and sanitation.
400 BC — Greek physician Hippocrates describes a diarrheal disease like cholera.
1817 to 1823 — In the first known cholera pandemic, an outbreak engulfing a large region, the disease spreads from the Ganges River delta to the rest of India. The disease is thought to have originated in the Ganges Valley, where it has been known there since antiquity. Through trade and colonization, the outbreak spreads to Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, East Africa, and coastal Mediterranean regions.
1829 to 1851 — The second cholera pandemic spreads from India as far as Europe and the Americas.
1854 — Italian Filippo Pacini first isolates the cholera bacterium, Vibrio cholerae.
1863 to 1923 — The third, fourth, fifth, and sixth pandemics also originate and spread from India, each with a slightly different strain of the bacteria.
1883 — Robert Koch identifies Vibrio cholerae as the cause of cholera in an Egyptian outbreak, contributing to the modern understanding of infectious diseases.
1961 — The seventh cholera pandemic starts and spreads from Indonesia. It continues to cause devastating losses in Africa.
1979 — Oral rehydration therapy is introduced as a standard treatment for cholera.
2010 — Because of poor sanitation after the Haiti earthquake, a cholera outbreak that starts in the fall of 2010 spreads rapidly through displacement camps. Haitian health officials reported in October 2018 that cholera infected more than 819,000 people and killed nearly 10,000 since the outbreak began. About 3,400 new cholera cases are reported at the end of 2018.
2016 — Yemen experiences the worst cholera outbreak in history, affecting more than 1 million people; it is still ongoing as of March 2019. The U.N. estimates that 16 million people of Yemen’s 29 million people lack safe water and adequate sanitation.
2017 — The Global Task Force on Cholera Control, led by the World Health Organization, outlines a plan to interrupt the spread of cholera and reduce deaths by 90 percent by 2030.
FAQs: What you need to know about cholera
Explore frequently asked questions about cholera, and learn how you can help children and families at risk of the disease.
- What is cholera?
- What are the symptoms of cholera?
- What is the difference between cholera, acute watery diarrhea, and dysentery?
- Where is cholera found?
- What is the difference between an epidemic, outbreak, and pandemic?
- Why is cholera especially dangerous for infants and young children?
- Is clean water really the only way to prevent cholera?
- Is there a cholera vaccine?
- How can I help people at risk of cholera?
- What is World Vision doing to end the global water crisis?
What is cholera?
Cholera is an intestinal infection caused by Vibrio cholerae bacteria. Most people get it from contaminated water or food. Cholera may cause extreme diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death.
What are the symptoms of cholera?
Cholera symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. Untreated, these conditions may lead to rapid dehydration, septic shock, kidney failure, and death within hours. Children with cholera may also experience drowsiness, fever, and convulsions. About 10 percent of those who contract the disease have severe symptoms.
About 80 percent of people infected by the cholera bacteria have no symptoms, and their infection runs its course without treatment. However, without proper waste disposal, the bacteria passed through their bodies can infect others.
What is the difference between cholera, acute watery diarrhea, and dysentery?
Cholera is a form of acute watery diarrhea caused by a specific strain of bacteria, Vibrio cholerae. Acute watery diarrhea is most often a symptom of an intestinal infection, which can be caused by different bacteria, viruses, or parasites. The term dysentery describes an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that causes bloody diarrhea. Any of several bacteria or amoebas cause dysentery. Common strains of the cholera bacteria do not cause bloody diarrhea.
Where is cholera found?
Cholera occurs primarily in Africa and in South and Southeast Asia, most often in tropical regions. In about 50 countries where the disease occurs regularly, it is said to be endemic. In these cholera-endemic countries, outbreaks often occur in the rainy season when drinking water may become contaminated through flooding. Since the 2010 cholera epidemic in Haiti, cholera has become endemic there.
What is the difference between an epidemic, outbreak, and pandemic?
When even one case of cholera is diagnosed in a new location and determined to be locally transmitted, it is an outbreak. When cholera spreads rapidly to many people, that is an epidemic. A pandemic occurs when it spreads globally.
Why is cholera especially dangerous for infants and young children?
Children can become dehydrated rapidly by the vomiting and diarrhea associated with cholera. In places where cholera is endemic — local, regular transmission — young children lack the immunity that adults may have developed over time. Also, children who are weakened by malnutrition are more susceptible to a cholera infection.
Is clean water really the only way to prevent cholera?
Yes, the only sure way to prevent cholera is by using clean water for drinking and cooking, washing hands frequently with soap and water, and using a latrine for sanitation. But globally, 844 million people lack access to clean water. Ending Cholera: The Global Roadmap to 2030, a plan to reduce cholera deaths by 90 percent, prioritizes reaching people most in need with clean water and sanitation.
Is there a cholera vaccine?
A single-dose oral vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for adults who are traveling to areas where cholera is spreading. Even with the vaccine, it is important to avoid exposure to cholera bacteria through good hygiene practices.
How can I help people at risk of cholera?
Help bring clean water and sanitation to communities and families around the world as a World Vision supporter. Over the last three years, we reached more than 12.7 million people with clean water. Our goals for the future are even more ambitious, but achievable, with your help.
- Pray: Ask God to pour his blessings out on families in need of clean water.
- Give: Help provide clean water for children and families.
- Run or walk in the Global 6K for Water May 4, 2019, to bring clean water to children around the world, or make a long-term commitment to join Team World Vision in the race to bring clean water and the opportunity for fullness of life to children around the world.
What is World Vision doing to end the global water crisis?
World Vision is the leading nongovernmental provider of clean drinking water in the developing world. We are reaching one new person every 10 seconds and three more schools every day with clean water.
World Vision focuses on bringing water to people living in poverty in rural areas with the greatest disease burden. We invest an average of 15 years in a community, cultivating local ownership and training people to manage and maintain water points. In this way, we save lives and ensure good health for millions of people annually. Our efforts include:
- Drilling, developing, and repairing wells and other vital water points
- Teaching local community members how to keep water flowing
- Overseeing the building of latrines and hand-washing facilities
- Promoting healthy hygiene practices through education and behavior change programming
What does it really mean to only have access to dirty water for cooking, cleaning, and drinking?
Food blogger Taylor Kiser of Food Faith Fitness recreates this issue in the kitchen while cooking a rice casserole with clean water … and with dirty water.
* * *
This Instant Pot chicken casserole with broccoli recipe was first published at Food Faith Fitness. Read the full recipe here. It’s an easy, weeknight dinner that almost makes itself. Kids and adults will love it!
I’m one of those people that can eat a casserole any time of the year. Regardless if it’s negative eleven billion degrees outside or if it’s 110 degrees, casseroles are in style for me. There’s something so comforting about a mishmash of yummy ingredients that just makes my heart burst and my tummy so satisfied.
Especially when that mishmash involves tender, crisp bursts of bright-green broccoli; a thick swirl of ooey-gooey, melty cheese; wholesome, chewy rice with tender, juicy chicken; and the creamy, rich taste of butter in every bite.
Whether it’s broccoli cheese soup, a cheesy zucchini casserole with broccoli, or this Instant Pot casserole recipe, the combination of broccoli and cheese is always going to be a solid dinner plan. Vegetables are tasty on their own, but when you cover them in cheese and mix them with carbs? That is a dinner that is everybody’s jam.
You know what though? We’re lucky that we have access to nice clean water to make a pressure cooker casserole for our families for dinner, which is why I’m partnering again with World Vision (you remember the goat cheese cheesecake, yes?) to build awareness around their Global 6K for Water!
The Global 6K for Water
Six kilometers is the average distance people in the developing world walk for water, and that water is usually contaminated with life-threatening diseases.
On Saturday, May 4, thousands of people from all around the globe will participate in the Global 6K and will walk or run 6 kilometers to bring clean water to communities in need. The registration fee is only $50, and it provides clean water to one person through World Vision’s water projects. So, every step YOU take is one that person won’t have to!
Each World Vision water project is sustainable as it gives local people training in maintenance and repair and is part of a community-based strategy that addresses a broad range of critical needs. They reach one new person every 10 seconds and three more schools each day to provide clean water. They are also Christ-centered, and these projects are carried out with the love of Jesus, which is one the many things I love about the organization!
I made this rice casserole with nice, clean water and then dirty water so you can see the difference. That ain’t no wild rice my friends; that’s just dirty rice, dirty chicken, and dirty cheese and veggies.
We don’t realize the privilege we have that we can drink clean water right from our taps. If someone from a developing country had the kitchen gadgets to make this Instant Pot chicken and rice casserole, it would look a lot like the dirty version that we would not want to eat and would never serve our families.
But, they would have no choice.
If you want to sign up for the Global 6K, you can do so HERE!
Clean cheesy chicken, tender broccoli and chewy rice is what’s for dinner.
And we’re lucky to be able to make it like that. <3
Join World Vision in bringing clean water to children and families around the world who lack this basic access. Who walk an average of 6 kilometers a day for water that makes them sick. When you walk our Global 6K for Water, every step you take is one they won’t have to! Sign up today.
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