Students ‘Bare’ the Cold for World Water Day
Earlier today, members of Global Water Brigades stood with signs (or sat on a toilet, casually reading a newspaper) outside of the HUB in an effort to grab attention, generate awareness, and educate fellow students about World Water Day and the global dangers of unclean water. Global Water Brigades is a subdivision of Global Brigades, a Penn State organization focused on international health and development, impacting communities, and creating socially conscious students.
For Mike Henry, chairman of Global Brigades and founder of Global Water Brigades, apart from sitting on a toilet in the snow, World Water Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of one of the largest burdens on humanity. “Over 780 million people lack access to clean water worldwide,” said Henry. “Only recently has that number dropped below 1 billion.” Unsanitary water and dehydration leads to diarrheal disease, which is the leading cause of death among children (killing over 1.5 million each year).
As a group, Global Water Brigades travels to underdeveloped countries like Honduras and Ghana, building sustainable water systems. “We empower community members by providing clean water,” said Kieran Carlisle (senior). Apart from giving locals an otherwise unattainable necessity, GWB also educates them about water safety. Additionally, the locals are trained so they can upkeep and maintain their clean water supply.
“Progress is being made,” said Henry, “but there’s still a lot of work to do. People in these underdeveloped countries have cell phones, but they don’t have access to clean water or toilets. We’re trying to change that.”
For more information regarding Global Water Brigades (or Global Brigades as a whole), contact Mike Henry at [email protected]