The gift of water

Clean, filtered water is a luxury that is enjoyed by most families in the United States. However in developing countries, many do not have access to sanitary water and must settle for well water teeming with bacteria. This is why the Water Project was established. The Water Project is a non-profit organization that brings sanitary water to people in developing countries such as Kenya and Zambia. The organization builds wells, water purification systems and sand dams that catch rainwater. In addition to the primary organization, there are also smaller organizations at schools and churches. Ames High School was recently introduced to the water project by co-leaders senior Laurel Smith and sophomore Eric Smith. "We presented the Water Project to Student Council and plan to introduce the idea to SHEPH and Key Club as well," Smith said. "We also have a joint club with the project in Gilbert." Before the Water Project can be a running club, Smith would like to form a committee in order to establish the project. "The committee would focus on beginning the projects, and after that, anyone could join," Smith said. "The committee would also help with fundraising ideas." Even though the Water Project has not yet started at Ames High, students can still become involved by visiting and donating to the cause online. Also, one activity that Smith would like to try is the two week challenge. "The two week challenge requires participants to give up all drinks except tap water for two weeks," Smith said. "Participants would not be able to drink milk, fruit juices or pop. Participants would also have to give up bottled water because it is a luxury enjoyed by only by a small percent of the world." Smith hopes that students will become involved in the water project for various reasons such as water has the capabilities to make a person live a more healthy life and a longer life. She is also fueled by her own conviction. "When there is not any clean water, people are forced to drink water that is filled with diseases," Smith said. "Also women and children are forced to haul water and cannot go to school or work. With clean water, women and children could go to school and work and have a future."