Walkers promote global clean water initiative
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 01:04
A group of West Virginia University students had the opportunity to understand just how far some will go to acquire fresh water.
The WVU chapter of Amizade Global Service-Learning hosted its fourth annual Water Walk Saturday to benefit its safe water initiative in Karagwe, Tanzania.
Participants filled buckets with water from the Monongahela River and walked 1.1 miles to symbolize the 1.1 billion people around the world who do not have access to safe water.
"Our goal is to walk in solidarity with the over 800 million people who don’t have access to clean and safe water," said Brandon Blache-Cohen, executive director of Amizade Global Service-Learning.
Amizade is a nonprofit organization designed to empower individuals and communities through worldwide service learning. The organization conducts both local and international service projects to raise awareness and serve those in need.
The average person requires six to 14 gallons of safe freshwater to ensure their daily drinking, bathing and cooking needs are met, according to Amizade. More than one in six people around the world do not have access to safe freshwater.
"We’re very lucky here to go to the faucet and get enough water for our lives. For our friends in communities such as Tanzania or Brazil, that’s not the case," Blache-Cohen said. "Water is something we take for granted; it’s something that falls from the sky that we should all have access to."
Trey Goff, Amizade student service learning coordi nator, said he hoped the walk would raise awareness and motivate participants to make a difference.
"I think it’s important to raise awareness in the community here in Morgantown," Goff said. "Having the experience of filling up a bucket with water and carrying it for some distance, just as many around the world have to, puts everything into perspective."
Freshman biology student Brian Truong said he was excited for an opportunity to slow down and appreciate something he believes many take for granted.
"I think this is a really nice way for us to raise awareness for a basic need we tend to take for granted," Truong said. "Sometimes I think we get too far ahead of ourselves to actually appreciate what we do have."
Blache-Cohen said he encourages WVU students to participate in other projects Amizade hosts, both on campus and across the globe.
For more information or to volunteer with WVU’s chapter, visit the organization’s downtown campus office, located in Room 343 of Stansbury Hall, or visit www.amizade.org.