Students Raise Funds and Awareness for Safe Water

Global Health Students
Students in Health 280 Perspectives in Global Health

April 25, 2014

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Students in an Illinois Wesleyan University global health course have raised more than $1,000 for clean water and sanitation initiatives in developing countries.

Taught by Associate Professor of Health and Environmental Studies Laurine Brown, Health 280 Perspectives in Global Health provides students with opportunities to examine critical health issues across different world regions, especially developing countries. The course includes an opportunity for students to develop an educational and fundraising campaign for a worthy health-related issue, according to Brown.

“We thought water was often the lingering cause behind so many of the health issues we researched as possible projects,” said Brittany Brady ’15, a member of the class. “Water, or lack of access to clean water, affects nutrition and every other aspect of life.”

One in 10 people in the world live without safe drinking water, according to WaterAid, an international nonprofit providing clean water, sanitation facilities and hygiene education. In addition, 2.5 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation, according to WaterAid. This organization, which was chosen by the students for their donations, works with local communities to build new facilities or educate residents on improved practices to make sure these are sustainable when the organization leaves the area. Brady said WaterAid’s localization and ownership of sustainability made it attractive to the students.

The students called their campaign “Tap into WaterAid.” They utilized social media, a web site and bake sales to raise funds. Brady said she and her classmates now understand the importance of public outreach and education to succeed in any kind of advocacy work.

 “It was inspiring when people asked us how to get involved more and how to learn more about WaterAid or clean water,” said Brady, an environmental studies major. “We really wanted to make our goal of $1,000, but it was just as important to see people concerned about the problem of unsafe water and hoping to support a solution for those in need.”

Contact: Kim Hill, (309) 556-3960