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It was a Goldilocks kind of a day on Saturday, May 14. The weather was not too hot, not too cold, not too sunny and not too cloudy, in fact it was the perfect day for a walk… from Stockholm to Esterhazy! And that’s exactly what a group of staff and students from Esterhazy High School’s Activist Club did, starting out from the Stockholm Communiplex and ending up at Esterhazy Museum in time for a well-deserved barbeque.
While the activity was no doubt good exercise, there was a lot more going on than just the health of the participants. The walk was actually a “Walk for Water” with the goal of raising public awareness about the need for clean drinking water in third world countries, and also the collection of funds to assist projects in foreign lands.
In many countries around the world, taps, wells and pipes simply don’t exist. Even where they do, they are often not affordable for the poorest people or are not designed to last. Women and girls suffer the most. They are forced to walk long distances to collect dirty water, wasting their time and energy. This means they miss out on an education, lack the opportunity to make a living, and have little chance to change things. They are also more likely to get sick with water-related diseases.
And so, members of the Activist Club decided to partner with WaterAid Canada, with the intention of raising between $5,000 and $10,000 to go towards a specific well. They started talking about the event around school, and let the student body know that the walk was coming and would be open to all Grade 6 to Grade 12 students, with each participant being required to raise $50 as an entry fee. Additional money has been raised at P.J. Gillen School, with a pie-in the face activity, and sales of ice cream. Further donations will be accepted via a website that is yet to be set up.
On Saturday, around 40 students, teachers and parents made the journey along the highway, escorted by suitably-labeled safety vehicles at the front and rear. When they got within a few kilometers of Esterhazy, they stopped to pick up cartons of water to carry, thereby identifying even more with the people they were raising the money for.
We applaud their dedication and their effort, and will update this article as results are forthcoming about the funds raised by the activity.
Below are some pictures taken during the walk.