Two representatives from Thirst Project presented the urgent mission of their organization which is to provide fresh drinking water to those in underdeveloped countries in Friday’s assembly. Thirst Project is the only youth activated NGO and has built 2,600 wells in 13 different countries around the globe.
KO students learned the harsh truth about the dearth of a substance we take for granted on a daily basis. Whereas individuals in the U.S. use an average of 150 gallons of water per day, over 663 million people in the world lack access to safe drinking water.
Thirst Project showed a film about their efforts in a small village in Swaziland, a nation of 1.3 million people on the northern border of South Africa. The country has the single highest rate of HIV in the world, and much of the issue is compounded by the lack of clean water which compromises immune systems. Villagers use open, unprotected water often visibly contaminated with human and animal waste to meet their daily needs. Women and children travel six to eight hours per day to supply the water to the villages by carrying 45-pound jerry cans. Although the villagers boil the collected water, oftentimes parasites survive the process which leads to cholera, typhoid, and diarrhea. The film ended on a jubilant note as Thirst Project successful built a well for the village. Coco, the matriarch of the community, said, “Water is life.”
Sydni Jett ’19 who spearheads Thirst Project Club at KO ran a question and answer period with the representatives who consider themselves “road warriors” that spread the organization’s message in a 14-week program by talking directly to students, over 500,000 to date. The impact of Thirst Project is tangible. After building the 300-foot deep ground wells in a given area, there is an immediate 88% decrease in diseases. But, the impact isn’t solely physical and health-related. Without traveling to fetch water, children can go to school and women can get jobs. The organizers urged KO students to get involved because “Water is a human right.”
Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.