Lethbridge Collegiate Institute student raising funds for water projects in African countries

By Garrett Simmons

Lethbridge School District No. 51

Communications Officer

Living in Lethbridge, we rarely have to consider whether the water coming out of the tap is safe to drink.

That’s not the situation many across the globe find themselves in. Access to clean, fresh water is an endless problem for many, a problem Lethbridge Collegiate Institute Grade 12 student Emma Arnell is attempting to help solve.

“I’m fundraising to support the building of hand pump deep wells in underdeveloped countries,” she said. “It is something I have wanted to do for quite a while.”
Currently, Arnell, and members of LCI’s Association to Kill Apathy club (AKA), are selling rafiki chains, to raise funds for a well.

“They are made by women in Kenya, who are paid fair wages,” said Arnell, who added the bracelet manufacturing process helps support communities in that country.

There are 110 of the bracelets on sale at LCI for $10, which will see half of the profits go towards the purchase of a well. Half of the bracelets have been sold, as profits are also directed to those making the rafiki chains.

“It gives a woman employment and it gives us $5 to support the wells,” said Arnell, who actually came up with the idea a few years ago. “It was in Grade 10 Social Studies when we were learning about health and social issues. I was really interested in the water aspect of global issues.”

Millions die each year due to water insecurity, and Arnell added many girls and women spend hours each day searching for water, which greatly diminishes their access to educational opportunities.

Last summer, Arnell began thinking about potential fundraisers, and put some plans in place. As school rolled around, her partnership with the AKA club helped push her ideas forward.

“Getting the AKA club involved, I found a lot of people willing to help volunteer,” said Arnell, who added the administration at LCI has also been extremely helpful.

The bracelets, however, are only the beginning. Arnell added if all 110 are sold, that will be enough to purchase one pump and create a single well for an African community.

Next semester at LCI, she is planning a fundraiser to coincide with World Water Day on March 22. Arnell is hoping to organize a student art show, with works to focus on the theme of global poverty, which may include a live auction or donations at the door. Later next semester, Arnell is planning a walk-a-thon.

She added those looking to learn more about the water crisis that is gripping many of the world’s nations, can visit the World Health Organization website, UNICEF or ME to WE.

For more information on the LCI fundraisers, contact Arnell at emma.arnell18@lethsd.ab.ca

Date posted: Jan. 11, 2017