The Thirst Project: Hydrate, Don’t Diedrate
By Abby Gagermeier, Feature Editor
In a foreign, faraway society, Swaziland makes for a prime example of a colorful, cultural, yet impoverished African nation. The miniscule country is completely landlocked, leaving it without any access to clean water. Many Swazi families struggle to survive day-by-day in such a tropical climate, but despite the rather dry odds, Falls Church students have risen to the occasion.
56 Swazis, poverty-stricken and dehydrated, will now have a lifetime supply of water thanks to the generous donations of Jaguar students and their families. Global Future, a student-run humanitarian support group, has spearheaded the campaign. In just three short months, they successfully raised a whopping $1400.39. The money will go towards the construction of wells in Swaziland (also referred to as the Kingdom of eSwatini.)
These donation-funded wells will tap into previously inaccessible groundwater, bringing much-needed relief to Swaziland’s inhabitants. That being said, the country still has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world, according to the CIA World Factbook. This is greatly impacted by the lack of water, poor sanitation, and goes to show just how prevalent the water crisis is.
The fundraiser, which officially concluded early January, exceeded all expectations. Brenda Tran (12) explained how the campaign impacted her. With such a strong team, she was able to help others “who don’t have the same privileges that I’m lucky to have.” Even if they are continents away.
All of this has been made possible by Global Future, in partnership with The Thirst Project, a non-profit organization that has pledged to end the water crisis. Their goal, as stated on their official website, is to “provide access to safe, clean drinking water to all people in the country by 2022.” That’s the same year the freshman will be graduating. It’s an audacious goal, but now with a thousand dollars more (thanks to Global Future’s donation), the finish line is only getting closer.
Mr. Andrew Simon, Global Future’s sponsor, is hopeful that this will be the first of many successful fundraisers. Until then, the group meets every Tuesday, after school, in room 207. With up to 40 members, the club has taken on many other international crises as well, by raising money and supplies for a variety of projects. As their reach continues to expand, so does the optimism among members.
“A lot of people wanted to help, but we’re in high school. Not everyone has money.” Tracy Nguyen (11), treasurer of Global Future, explains. Despite this, donations remained generous. Tracy was all smiles when asked about the final results. “We’re actually bringing change to the world,” she said. “Good change.”