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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|GU Women Walk April 23 for African Families|
SPOKANE, Wash. – Students from Gonzaga University’s Comprehensive Leadership Program will join forces with students from colleges and universities nationwide Thursday (April 23) to raise awareness for the need for clean drinking water in Africa.
The BH2O+ (“Bring Hope to Her”) event will take place at 11 a.m. on the Quad grass field on the west side of the Crosby Student Center is sponsored by Nuru International, a nonprofit, public-benefit charity committed to pioneering holistic, sustainable solutions to end extreme poverty in partnership with the poor.
The Gonzaga BH2O+ event will include a rally designed to educate students and community members on the plight of African women created by the lack of clean drinking water. The focal point will be a solidarity walk in which more than 50 women will carry containers of water on their heads, modeling the grueling daily task of African girls and women. The women will walk throughout the GU campus to a designated water source.
“I’m excited because it is a visual representation of the challenges of poverty and it connects students like us, who are so blessed, to women in Africa who face obstacles everyday in the struggle to just meet their basic needs.” – Sarah Arpin, BH2O+ Campus Coordinator.
As part of the national, GU students seek to bring hope to the women of the developing world, and to raise funds that will enable the drilling of four deep water wells at schools in Kuria, Kenya, as well as the engineering of rain-water harvesting systems in Kenyan homes. A full list of participating colleges and universities, as well as photo and video highlights from the events will be available at www.bhope2her.org; additional information on Gonzaga’s event will be available at the following Facebook link:
“A critical part of Nuru’s mission is to inspire the developed world to confront the crisis of extreme poverty, and to help students become advocates for this important cause,” said Jake Harriman, CEO of Nuru International. “Through the BH2O+ events, collegiate women and men are taking powerful steps to educate their fellow students about the need for clean drinking water in Africa. In addition, their fund raising efforts will directly contribute to lasting clean water solutions in Kuria, Kenya and Malawi.”
The Crucial Need for Clean Drinking Water
The consumption of contaminated water is responsible for approximately 80 percent of all diseases and more than one-third of all deaths in developing countries. Access to clean water, as well as education about water sanitation, is critical to reducing illness in communities worldwide. In Africa, girls and women spend an average of three hours per day collecting water from distant sources. They must then spend additional time filtering and disinfecting that water so it’s safe to drink. Long walks to distant water sources take precious time from activities such as school or work, and they can prove a source of danger or physical stress: the average African woman carries 44 pounds of water on her head. Accessible wells with clean drinking water will not only improve health in these African communities; they will also give back needed time to each girl and woman, allowing them opportunity for education, development and family activities. More information on the importance of clean water and sanitation is available online.
Nuru – Get Involved
Based on the Kiswahili word for “light,” Nuru International is a new humanitarian organization at the crossroads of innovation and extreme poverty. Its goal to end extreme poverty relies on the courage and action of people worldwide to get involved.
The Many Ways to Get Involved
About Gonzaga’s Comprehensive Leadership Program
Established in 2002, the Comprehensive Leadership Program (CLP) at Gonzaga is a three-year program designed to offer students curricular and co-curricular learning opportunities to develop knowledge and skills for leadership. Through experiences both in and out of the classroom, the CLP provides transformational student learning which develops a deep understanding of leadership, the meaning of moral character, and an ethic of care and service. For more information about the CLP, please call Josh Armstrong, Ph.D. at (509) 313-6493, or visit its Web site.
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