Students Collaborate to Raise Awareness of Lack of Clean Water

Students in Will Piper’s 5th-grade World Cultural Geography class discovered first-hand how difficult it can be for their peers around the world to obtain clean water. On Feb. 23, in conjunction with Upper School Global Scholars students, they participated in a simulation called the Walk to Water, where they walked up to 1 mile around the Upper School gymnasium (20 laps) while carrying a gallon of water. The Global Scholars had informational booths set up around the gym to teach the children more about the issues surrounding obtaining clean water.

The event was part of the 5th-graders’ in-depth unit on sub-Saharan Africa, where they learned about children in Kihara, Uganda, who walk upwards of 5 kilometers daily for clean water. In addition to the Walk to Water event, they were visited by Dr. Henry Wend and Upper School Global Scholar students, who discussed the Great Lakes to Great Lakes project that has been building in the Global Scholars program since 2016, as a result of Dr. Wend’s Think Big grant to visit Uganda. The project links students and communities in the United States to the great lakes region of Africa to develop sustainable water-use solutions.

“Because the residents of Kihara lack basic things like clean water, they don’t have the ability to fight bigger issues like countering malaria, accessing education, etc.,” said Michael Minus ’18, a Global Scholars student who participated in the event. “I remember looking up to the seniors when I was in 5th grade, so it’s fun to think that I could have an impact on these students. I didn’t think I’d be doing something like this but it’s been fun.” The 5th-graders and the Global Scholars held bake sales to raise money to help the residents of Kihara build a sustainable, gravity-powered source for clean water that is close to the village.
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