ABC News: Race for Water

Back in December and Good Morning America featured ABC News’ Dr. Richard Besser travelling through the slums of India, and rural Dhaka, Bangladesh. This was no ordinary international video diary, as it primarily featured children who lacked basic sanitation in their schools.

abcThe purpose of Dr. Besser’s travels to Bangladesh was to have a conversation with school children who had partnered with schools in the U.S through an organization called H20 for Life.

H20 for Life connects schools in America with schools in developing countries to raise money for water needs. The organization also provides teachers with a curriculum for children in the U.S. to learn about the water crisis and what it’s like for over half the schools in the developing world who don’t have access to proper sanitation.

If you ask a student who is part of the H20 for Life program, they can tell you all about the water issues faced by students in the developing world. How without access to latrines, girls stop attending school once they reach puberty; that every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease; and how worldwide, 2.5 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation.

“The students get really excited about funding water projects” H20 for Life’s Val Johnson told ABC News. “To do this classrooms in the US come up with creative ways to raise money, such as walks, bake sales, or even selling handmade items.”

In April, H20 for Life held a Bucket Walk at Target Field in Minneapolis, walking a 5k carrying buckets to get a sense of what the average person goes through to get water in the developing world. The walk and others at H20 for Life schools across the country raised $74,000.

Saturday, May 21 the American school on the other end of Dr. Besser’s Skype, HB Woodlawn in Virginia held its own fundraiser, a 5k to raise money for the bathrooms for their partner school in Bangladesh, the school raised enough to fund the project- close to $14,000! Good job Virginia!


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