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Glenbrook Elementary students walk for water

May 3, 2018   ·   0 Comments

Written By MARNI WALSH

On April 26th, students from Glenbrook Elementary School in Shelburne participated in a Me2We Water Walk. The students surpassed their goal of raising $300 to donate towards clean drinking water in developing countries.

Grade Six teacher Aynsley Whitehouse says Glenbrook School has been involved with the Me2We movement since the school opened in 2013. “The students are very involved in a variety of local and global initiatives with Me2We,” says Ms. Whitehouse. “One of the pillars that Me2We focuses on is the water pillar. During research, students found out that women and young girls walk hours to collect clean water every single day.”

Me2We is a “Free the Children” initiative started by Canadians Craig and Mark Kielburger of Thornhill, Ontario when they themselves were still children. Twenty years later, it is a world wide movement that helps free children and families from poverty and exploitation in developing countries. Just $25 through their organization will give one person clean water for life. This means Glenbrook students raised enough for 10 people to receive clean drinking water for life.

The “Free the Children” vision includes empowering youth and connecting them to global and third world issues. As such, they have partnered with schools to “inspire young change-makers within the classroom.”

“Over the years,” says Craig Kielburger on his site, “We’ve discovered that it’s far more important to reach as many people as possible—especially youth—and empower them with the knowledge that it’s not up to anyone else, it’s up to them to make a difference.”

Ms. Whitehouse says Me2We asserts in their program that “with access to clean water, families are able to have their girls attend school, watch their crops flourish at home and improve their personal health. Children are especially at risk for water-related diseases, and with better access to clean water school attendance rates increase—expanding the opportunities in children’s lives.”

Ice River Springs in Shelburne helped out with the water event by donating jugs of water for the children to carry for the walk, and individual bottles of water for every student after the walk. Students walked around the school carrying the heavy jugs “to achieve compassion and empathy” says Ms. Whitehouse, for women and young girls who must journey to water every day in order to survive. “By putting themselves in their shoes for a short period of time, they will realize what they go through every single day, and not to take clean water for granted,” she says.

Although the whole school was involved in Thursday’s event, Ms. Whitehouse says their Me2We group is composed of students from grades six to eight. “We currently have around 20 students in our group,” she says. “They have made presentations to the school, gone around to classes to discuss the water walk in further detail, and made announcements and posters to display.” Tara McCabe who works with students at the Glenbrook Me2We group was also in charge of the water walk at Hyland Heights on April 30.

With 663 million people around the world without access to safe drinking water, educational initiatives such as Me2We bring into focus the importance of water as a basic human right, not a luxury, or a commodity – key principles for a young generation that may well be faced with critical decisions on protecting source water, both at home and abroad, in the future.

         

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