Friday, April 24, 2009

School children raise money for water

Children in San Mateo, California are raising money for Water Partners International, a charity that develops safe drinking water and sanitation for the underdeveloped world. Not only are the children raising money for safe water, but they are also learning about the importance of water especially for other parts of the world.

From the San Mateo Daily Journal, Heather Murtagh details the fund raising effort.

Looking for a class project, eighth grade students at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School found clean water to be an interesting topic — and, as it turns out, an enlightening one.

A person can get clean water for life for $25, according to WaterPartners International, a U.S. nonprofit committed to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries. The St. Matthew’s community set a goal of raising $10,000 — enough to provide clean water for a village in India. Efforts kicked off in March on World Water Day and ended yesterday, Earth Day. Through a change drive, an Indian dinner feast and other activities students raised cash for the cause. Money raised will be tallied today.

Students needed a class project and learned about the need in other countries for clean water, explained 13-year-old Nate Mooi.

A St. Matthew’s parent, Tony Stayner, is on the board for WaterPartners and had taken his two eighth-grade children to India to see the work in November. The trip provided a firsthand experience with poverty and effects of not having clean water.

“I didn’t think about how much we have and other’s don’t,” said seventh grade student Nicole Crisci.

Thirteen-year-old Nicki Williams agreed, adding how often water is used daily without a thought. Brushing your teeth or taking a shower are routine here.

“It’s a luxury if you put yourselves in their shoes,” she said.

Fifth grade student Polly Finch takes a shower in the morning and evening. She thought the idea of a shower must be amazing to those in impoverished countries.

Through the project, students began to learn about the effects of water. For example, a five-gallon water jug weighs about 40 pounds. In areas without clean water, children often must carry these jugs three to four miles. As a result, the children end up missing opportunities for education.

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