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Saturday, September 23, 2023


Group on mission to provide clean water

Every 15 seconds, a child dies from lack of clean water and basic sanitation, according to Living Water International.

And a group of seven students on campus are trying to change that – one dollar at a time.

They’ve already raised $405 in a raffle last week and want to raise more in an attempt to ease poverty in underdeveloped countries.

"Water-born illnesses are the number one killer world-wide, especially for young children. It’s water. It’s our basic human need," Finance senior Stacey Phillips, an officer for ONE, UH Chapter, said. "They have no other choice then to go and drink the dirty water, and it’s a horrible situation that they’re in."

The newly-formed UH chapter is raising funds to donate to Living Water International, an organization that builds water wells in various poverty-stricken countries as a means to improve the quality of life. Even though it takes about $25,000 to construct a well capable of serving 10,000 and $5,000 for one serving 2,000 people, ONE members said they believe their fundraisers are just another step closer to achieving its goal to decrease poverty and provide fresh water to people who have to drink from the same water they bathe in.

As a mother of two children, Phillips said she feels a personal obligation to help better the situation for women and children struggling with such hardships.

"I couldn’t imagine not being able to take care of my children or not having the means to take care of them or myself," Phillips said.

Once Living Water receives the funds, they will take a hands-on approach in constructing the well.

"We’re sending the money to Living Water International, and they are going to go in themselves and build wells there," Psychology junior Geneva Jahan-Tigh.

Jahan-Tigh said Living Water International has gone into 60 countries, including those in Central America, South America and Africa, and have built about 4,200 water wells.

Sculpture senior and ONE officer Jeremy Haines said he feels contributing to the construction of a well is a valuable project.

"I really like that right off the bat we’re going to be benefiting having a water well built in another country," Haines said. "(ONE) is set up to empower anyone to become involved in helping end world hunger."

The group started this semester, and its biggest set back is lack of members, Phillips said. However, ONE officers feel UH is a place where it can flourish.

"I’m impressed that a lot of the students we do talk to are less interested in winning money from raffle tickets and more interested in donating money," Haines said. "That goes to show that there are a lot of students who desire to be involved even if it is just giving five bucks. I think that you have to create those opportunities for them and that our campus really does care."

The group’s next fundraiser, a bake sale, is slated for World Aids Day in December. For more information, search for ONE @ UH on Facebook.

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