November 18, 2009

Walkin' for Water- International Education Week 2009

Does carrying 5 gallons of water seem like an easy task to you? Looks and perception can be very deceiving-this was the case with Walkin' for Water.

The Gender Excellence Learning Community (Women's and Gender Studies Department) created the Walkin' for Water service project as a way to give back and change the lives of women and girls in developing countries. On average a young girl or woman carries 5 gallons of water 4 miles a day! With so much of their time being spent on gathering water for their families-their education suffers.

We then set out to make it all happen-we began planning how we would raise money that would be donated to Water1st International. Water1st International is a non-profit organization that builds wells in India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Honduras. After weeks of preparation Nov. 17 was finally here and we were all motivated to raise money!

Our first fundraising event was on Nov. 17, during International Education Week, we set up outside of Fretwell. In order to raise money we challenged people's strength and their perception by asking them to carry or run with two 5 gallon buckets-with 2.5 gallons of water in each- to get an understanding of what these women and girls go through on a daily basis to get a basic need:water. Some participants took nice calm strolls with the water in tow while others got more competitive and created a race out of it. The UNC Charlotte Women's Rugby team came out to help and challenged people to race them with the water-it was a hit! Needless to say most people were shocked at how difficult this seemingly easy task really was. This event was a success-a grand total of $102.55 was raised in 2 hours-that will build 5 wells!

Not only did we want this to be a fundraising event-but we also wanted to educate people on our cause. It is our hope that UNC Charlotte students, faculty/staff and visitors that participated-or saw the event going on-are now more educated on the cause and have a place in their hearts to help people in developing countries that struggle to get something that Americans sometimes take for granted.

Walkin' for Water will host another fundraiser on Thursday, Nov. 19, outside of Fretwell from 2:30-4:20pm. Donations will be taken and races will resume. Come out and get involved with a great cause and fun!

Thanks to everyone that participated and donated. Your help and contributions are appreciated and will help to change the lives of people across the world.

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