This line of inquiry developed into our Grade 2 students wanting to take action in the form of a fundraiser called “Run/Walk For Water”. We teamed up with the HOPE International Development Agency who do amazing work with over 95 cents of every dollar raised going directly to the projects they work on! We chose the Bonke District of Ethiopia project that provides the materials necessary for clean water for thousands of families.
The average time spent daily getting water is 5 hours whereas we in Latvia can go straight to the tap or the grocery store in just minutes. The women and children in Ethiopia are not able go to school or develop career skills because they must walk and carry large amounts of very polluted water. Our Grade 2 students believe it is the right of these people of the Bonke District to have clean water as well as the opportunity for an education….. so they decided to take action.
The first annual running event that was held at the International School of Latvia on June 4th, 2014. This was a great school community event, it also provided an opportunity for our community to get involved in fundraising for some of the most needy people in the world. Every week, 40,000 people die for lack of clean water. The majority of these are kids under the age of 5.
This year ISL raised over 1200 euros for the Bonke district of Southern Ethiopia. It was a tremendous financial success, but more importantly was able to teach our ISL students a meaningful lesson in what it means to truly share the planet with our time, resources, and awareness.
Here are a few reflections from students and teachers around the school about the event:
- Patriks (Grade 4 student)- It was really fun to run with different people in the race, and to me racing with other people for a fundraiser for water was great because I could support people and it’s a lot of fun!
- Lori ( Pre-School 4 student)- The kids had a really great time and excited to run without anyone telling them not to. I loved the cause and made us feel good about running and participating!
- Yannick (Grade 3 student )- I was happy when I ran 3 ½ kilometers in the Run for Water. I felt excited when I was running for the people in Ethiopia to help get water for them.
- Samantha (Grade 3 student)- I was running with my friend Elena and I felt very tired when I was on my last lap that was going to be my 3rd kilometer, but I kept going because I felt like it was a good cause to give clean water to the people who need it.
- Anri (Pre-4 student)- It was awesome! I helped my sister and my brother run faster, but I was running faster still and I was giving them water. I was pushing them so they run fast.
- Lex(Pre-4 student)- It was great because I helped buy water for people.
- Ava (Grade 2 student)- I had fun and it was really tiring because I ran very fast, but I wanted to raise money so I kept running. I felt proud of ISL and I hope that we do this again.
- David D.(Grade 5 student)- It was really good because you get to run and the money that you run for goes to clean water for Africa. You make the world better by taking action and this was important for ISL to do this project.
- Price (Grade 5 student)- It was really fun and I am glad we did it and I hope it turns into something annual and as effective as the Angel Tree project we do at Christmas.
- Margo (Grade 5 student)- I think it was a really out of the box idea and it was really fun and I was happy to participate.
- Zeke (Grade 2 student)- I think it was exciting and I had to pour lots of water on my head because it was hot.:) I liked that you could get some good exercise and improve some of your running skills as well as raising money for clean water in Ethiopia.
Mary R. (ISL Director)- "This event showed a true sense of service learning and an understanding of how much we have and how little others have of many things. One of those things is the basic right to clean drinking water. This event took this concept and made it meaningful for our youngest students. The entire project, start to finish was cross disciplinary and involved the entire community. The culminating event yesterday drew in parents, older students and even the cafeteria staff were cheering our students on. Being a part of this project, albeit from the far far sidelines has been one of the best memories I will have of this year."