Grade 9 Seaton student Seth Martens carries water in Gufubao

Grade 9 Seaton student Seth Martens carries water in Gufubao

Students walk for water

Global Action students will walk to Kal Lake and fill water jugs in an effort to raise awareness and fundraise for clean water projects

In many villages in Africa women and girls walk hours under the hot sun to reach a water source, carrying heavy water containers back to their families. Often, the water isn’t even clean. In the Syrian refugee camp across the border in the Bakaa Valley of Lebanon, refugees don’t have access to clean drinking water.

In the North Okanagan, residents can simply turn on the tap when they need water.

Vernon secondary students want to do something to help raise awareness and to fundraise for clean water projects.

On April 29, students will be walking to fundraise for clean water projects in Africa and to help those in the Bakaa Valley Refugee Camp. Funds raised will be split between the two causes.

“They will walk from the school to Kal Lake, fill their containers, and walk back, which is the average distance that a woman in Africa walks to reach a water source,” said VSS teacher Susan Egan, who facilitates the Global Action group at the school. “We had a young Syrian man in as a guest speaker, and he shared with us that he spent three years at this refugee camp and refugees had to somehow come up with money to buy bottled water, and we want to help.

“The water we bring back to VSS will be used to keep the school composter moist.”

The Global Action group has participated in volunteering projects in Africa, India and rural China, helping to build schools with Free the Children, a Canadian-based charity, and learning about the issues facing impoverished rural communities, including access to water.

“We are so lucky here, and we would wish for all children to have clean water to drink and to be able to go to school,” said Grade 12 student Katherine Woolsey.

Volunteering locally has also been important to students, who in the past have helped out at the Upper Room Mission and the Salvation Army Food Bank, as well as at the Gleaners plant in Lavington, where students have already booked two volunteering sessions for next month.

“Walking for water is one small way to make a difference,” said Grade 12 student Holly Clancy.

For more information, or to make a donation for clean water, please contact Egan at VSS, 250-545-0701.