Water way to help – students team up with water aid charity
Just a Drop aims to reduce child mortality by delivering accessible, clean, safe water to communities in developing countries.
The partnership with Leeds Beckett is the charity’s first university partnership, with the first project getting starting this month. The BA (Hons) International Tourism Management students have been tasked with raising £7,032 by December this year for a new water tank for the Molemuni Secondary School in Kenya.
Fundraising activities will take place in groups and are set to include the Leeds Abbey Dash 10km run, bike rides, cake sales, sponsored events and ‘jerry can challenges’, where students replicate how far children in Kenya have to carry containers to get clean water.
Dr Ulrike Kachel, Senior Lecturer in Tourism at Leeds Beckett and leader of the project, explained: “The partnership with Just a Drop is important as it makes our students aware of our responsibilities working in the tourism industry. For example, there are popular destinations where tourists are showering twice a day whilst residents of the local community have no clean water.
“We want to help our students to be engaged and to develop as responsible citizens. Working with Just a Drop, they will have opportunities to be involved in many activities including social media, networking with the local community and coming up with fundraising ideas. We want them to be challenged and to boost their employability for when they graduate. Employers are not just looking at grades and qualifications, but want to see that students have engaged in volunteering and activities outside of their studies.”
Brendan Hanlon, Head of Fundraising and Communications at Just a Drop, added: “We are delighted to be the chosen charity of Leeds Beckett University’s BA (Hons) International Tourism Management course this year. The partnership will make a positive and real difference, bringing clean, safe water and suitable sanitation to the students at Molemuni School in Kenya, reducing the time spent walking for water and ensuring that each and every student benefits from the education he or she deserves.”
The Molemuni Secondary School water tank will work by harvesting rain water running from the school roof via pipes and guttering, providing clean water all year round. The community will collect materials for the build and provide manual labour. The finished tank will serve 226 pupils aged between 12 and 18, 100 of which are boarders. Training in sanitation and hygiene will also be provided to the school.
Head Teacher, Dennis Njeru, commented: “Having clean and safe water in the school would change the lives of the students. They have aspiration: they want to learn, they want to go to university. There is a great deal of illness here, but we have no choice to use the water which is sent. The water we use is often taken from a river. It’s not clean: we can see that. I would say around 20% of the students are ill at any one time. Sometimes, the illnesses are very serious. A lot of education time is lost.”
To see the students’ progress and make a donation to the Molemuni Secondary School water tank, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/company/ITOUR.
Just a Drop was founded in 1998 by Fiona Jeffrey OBE, former Director of World Travel Market. Other partners of the charity include Thomas Cook and Radisson Blu Hotels. To date, they have completed 176 projects globally, reaching an estimated 1.3 million people in 31 countries.
Images courtesy of Just a Drop