The Water Project
Water Water everywhere but for some it is not that easy. To create awareness, UNICEF launched the Tap Project, an award winning campaign designed to provide clean water to children around the world. Every day 4,000 children die of water related diseases, and nearly 900 million people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water.
Houston was selected as one of only five national enhanced markets to implement the campaign this year, which involved a leadership team to direct efforts. During World Water Week, March 19-25, various restaurants encouraged patrons to donate $1 or more.
The students and teachers of St. Francis Episcopal Day School took it to a whole new level. For the past eight weeks, students of this school have observed, examined, weighed, painted, and played their way through a comprehensive study of global water needs, water conservation and water sanitation. “They have studied water, raised funds for UNICEF’s Tap Project by drinking only water for a week and donating the money saved, and Skyped with students and environmental experts on all seven continents, in countries including Nepal, Kuwait, Tanzania, Australia, Sweden, and Antarctica,” informed the school science teacher.
The event hosted at the school also featured a HydroFair with representatives from several nonprofits that work with water-related issues and a water walk, during which students carried water a representative distance to experience the effort other children must make to get water to their homes. “Along the way, students began to develop a deeper understanding and empathy for their peers in underdeveloped countries, many of whom walk an average of three hours per day to provide water for their families,” shared parent/philanthropist Nidhika Mehta.
“I can’t believe kids have to carry what we had to carry and more just to get water,” said one second-grade girl. A seventh grader added, “I am going to change the way I use water after yesterday’s celebration of World Water Day, because kids my age have to walk almost four miles just to get water to drink.”
Furthermore former supermodel Elena Davis spoke to the Rotary Club of Houston Skyline about her I Am Waters Foundation that provides spiritual and physical hydration to the homeless.
Overall I must admit Houstonians did a spectacular job creating awareness on water. Our heart goes out to the special efforts made by the students who I personally witnessed carrying gallons of water and walking just to get the real experience. What an effort!
UNICEF Water Project photographs by Sandeep Khandelwal