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
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
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
“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