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OHS WE Walk for Water Campaign

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By: Jake Salzbrunn and Tanner Turnquist 42Fifty Staff Writers

On Friday, April 27, 2018 the WE club is hosting a 5k walk to raise money for places that can’t receive clean water.

OHS’ goal is to raise $2,300. That goal can provide 180 people with clean water. So far they have raised $2,020. If OHS does get there, a private donor will match the $2,300! The walk will happen at Prairie Point Park from 4-6 p.m. $25 dollars per person or family.

If you can’t make the 5k walk but still want to donate you can do so online at this website, https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/oswego-walks-for-water .

When we asked Ms. Prigodich about how the WE Club started, “WE Club was started by three students–Angel Schlotterback, Sydney Ramsbottom, and Hannah Hively–who were inspired by the service-learning trip they and 13 other students took to Ecuador this past summer…WE’s development model includes five pillars:  education, water, health, food, and opportunity.

Ms. Prigodich gave this story on one of the huge reasons why she started the WE Club,“While there, we also visited a farm that supplied all of the fruit for the Ecolodge where we stayed.  The couple who ran the farm, Miguel and Maria Vargas, told us the story of how they moved their family down into the Amazon basin from the highlands in order to make a better life for their children.  Unfortunately, in doing so, they went from a place where they had access to clean water to a remote village along the Napo River, a tributary into the Amazon River, where the only water supply was the river–a very polluted water source.  Because of the lax regulations about factories dumping pollutants into the country’s waterways, the water in the Amazon has been contaminated by factories hundreds of miles away in northern Ecuador. Moving into the Amazon meant that the Vargases now had to carry river water a fair distance in large buckets–through thick mud–to use at their farm:  for watering, for bathing, for washing clothes and dishes…and for drinking. Tragically, their 13-year-old daughter, Nelly, died from drinking contaminated water.”

It wasn’t just Ms Prigodich that wanted to start this club but the students as well when she told us, “From our experiences with the Vargases and at the Amazonian school, our students committed to becoming a WE School, partnering with the WE organization to investigate and learn about topics related to real-world challenges, make action plans to implement service-learning projects, and then implement those plans.”

Everyday women and children need to walk hours and miles to get clean water for drinking, cleaning, and cooking. Most Americans are blessed with clean water at our houses, schools, and work. So next time you go to the water fountain, grab a water bottle, or turn on the hose, be thankful.

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