When Jacob MacDonald went to his Grade 7 social studies class, he had no idea he’d end up doing something that would help save lives.
Jacob and his classmates got involved with a Lifewater Canada project, and have been raising money to drill a well in Africa or Haiti.
“I knew a bit about what things were like in other places, but I didn’t know there were so many places that didn’t have clean water,” he said. “We’ve learned a lot about how hard life is in some places, and it makes me feel lucky to be able to get water from a tap whenever we want.”
To raise money, face painting was offered at the school’s Halloween dance and students made Christmas cards that were sold during a parent-teacher night.
“If I lived in some places I wouldn’t want to drink the bad water but I wouldn’t have a choice,” said Jacob. “I wouldn’t have much power.
“If people give even a little bit it’s a big help. Not everyone’s as lucky as we are.”
The students hope to raise $300, and are at $160 now.
Teacher Therese Boudreau explained there is a component on contributing to the world in the Grade 7 social studies course, and students are involved in choosing their project.
“Grade 7 social studies is about empowerment and this shows we can empower ourselves to help others,” she said.
“It opens eyes and teaches kids really important things about being grateful for the life they have, and it’s a great opportunity to help people in another part of the world.”
Students will be involved in more fundraising efforts this year.
Other schools in the area are also working on Lifewater Canada projects.
For more information visit http://www.lifewater.ca/
- One-sixth of people don’t have safe drinking water.
- 80 per cent of sickness and death among children is caused by unsafe water.
- A child dies every 21 seconds from poor sanitation and unsafe water.
- In many places women and children spend hours carrying water every day, leaving them little, or no, time for education.
- Through Lifewater Canada, volunteers travel overseas to train people in subjects such as hygiene and health, and equipment maintenance and repair.