Middle school students in the Konos Juniors program at Konos Academy are experiencing literature in a life-changing way as well as raising money for a fresh water program.
Inspired by the book “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park, the students are raising money for former Lost Boy Salva Dut's organization, Water for South Sudan. The organization drills new wells in villages throughout South Sudan so that villagers no longer have to walk miles each day to collect unsafe drinking water from the nearest pond.
To date, the students have raised nearly $1,000.
Access to clean water allows young village girls to cease their daily walks to water so they may attend school. Additionally, the wells provide villagers the ability to grow small gardens and to start new businesses such as basket weaving, which requires soaking of the reeds before they can be woven.
When a well is drilled in a village, it will often result in the building of a school, a health clinic and a marketplace for trade. According to the World Health Organization, more than 3.4 million people die each year from water-related diseases.
In addition to raising money for wells, the Konos Juniors students learned empathy for the people of South Sudan by taking their own simulated long walk to water around the school grounds, according to teacher Elizabeth Fry.
Students carried buckets of water on their heads along a route that included simulated hazards they read about in their literature book – including lions, snakes and thorns. Walking in family groups, the students measured the total water they were able to carry “home” and then had to determine what the water would be used for over the next 24 hours.
The week before their walk, students completed water usage charts to calculate how much water they used in daily living. Referring to these charts, it became evident that they simply couldn’t carry enough water to meet all their needs, Fry said.
Konos Academy is a homeschool hybrid program in Fayetteville. To make a donation to Water for South Sudan through the Konos Juniors fundraiser, visit https://www.CrowdRise.com/kj-walk-to-water before May 4.