When The River Runs Dry

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Bloomsburg University has water sources everywhere. The campus and town have fountains, all academic buildings are equipped with sinks and water fountains, and the dorms have showers and tubs. Students rely on water to drink and bathe everyday, but what if those water supplies were to disappear completely?

This is an issue that the women of Kenya face everyday. These women walk about 30 minutes to a water source where they fill a bucket of water and walk back. This can take place about 3 times a day. If they didn’t do this, many of them would not have water for themselves or their families. The chore of water collecting starts around the age of five when young girls are pulled out of school to help their mothers.

Bloomsburg University is joining a number of other universities in the Be Hope To Her walk. Students walk with buckets to the Susquehanna River to collect water, and then return with an understanding of what it must be like for Kenyan women.  The cost is $5 to participate in the walk and the money is donated to Nuru International.

This organization travels to places like Kuria, Kenya and partners with native Kenyans to teach clean water education and water purification skills. This knowledge gives the people the ability to raise their own money for purification water tablets and other beneficial water systems.

“If patients had clean water their health problems would be greatly reduced,” stated Lizzie Lee, a nursing student here at Bloomsburg University. Lee has gone on medical mission trips to places with a lack of clean water such as Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

The water women collect is often dirty and filled with parasites that can cause illnesses. Without the cleansing and hydrating benefits of clean water, illnesses such as diarrhea can be deadly. With the help of students all across the U.S, lives can be saved.

Lee is working with the Honors Center to make this event possible.  Organizers built an event page on Facebook titled Bloomsburg University Be Hope to Her (BH2O+). The organization also has a website with further information, videos, and facts about the water.

It is time to turn privilege into power, take a walk in someone else’s shoes, and in turn save the lives of people at a disadvantage.

 

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