Over 400 students gathered on the lawns of the B.C. Legislature Wednesday morning, some bearing heavy jugs of water and others homemade signs.
The students were there for the second annual We Walk for Water campaign, an international initiative to get people from around the world access to clean water.
Participants heard that over 840 million people in the world don’t have regular access to clean water, and that most of the people affected by this are women.
“Girls can’t go to school because they have to walk for the water hours and hours of their day,” said Hannah Smeibiel, a Grade 11 student at Stelly’s Secondary. “This is to set the symbol for awareness and for raising money for the project.”
— Nicole Crescenzi (@NicoleCrescenzi) May 3, 2019
On average, a woman or girl will travel six kilometres per day to gather water. In solidarity with them, students aimed to do 12 laps around the legislature’s lawn, which would measure roughly six kilometres.
Schools have also been campaigning to fundraise for the cause, with numbers still rolling in.
“Every $25 provides one person with access to clean water for life. Our goal this year is to help 80,000, which is lofty but achievable,” said Katrina MacGibbon, project lead for the WE Walk. ” These are resources that are not a luxury, they are for survival and it will help everyone thrive…It’s really about drilling down that we have one world and one shared resource, and these students really get that and are rallying behind that.”
B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming was also on scene in support of the walk.
“The connection between the lack of clean water for tens of thousands, millions, tens of millions of people around the world is really a threat to kids being able to learn every day and be in school,” Fleming said.
his is really about fighting and tackling poverty that is far too prevalent around the globe. “
Victoria’s Friday march happened at the same time as two other ones in the United Kingdom; one at Hyde Park in London and one at Roundhay Park in Leeds.
On May 10th, the official WE Walk for Water day, hundreds of cities around the world will also have similar demonstrations.
For more information you can visit we.org
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