Water Walk in Pittsburgh Raises Funds and Awareness

by Amizade Global Service-Learning

Pittsburgh, March 22, 2009 – More than 250 Pittsburgh students and community members walked in solidarity with the 1.1 billion people living without access to clean water in the developing world as part of Amizade’s 2nd Annual Water Walk for Women’s Rights.

Participants carried buckets of water from the Cathedral of Learning to Schenley Park as a visual symbol of the women and girls around the world who spend several hours each day retrieving water from often unclean and dangerous sources. Sadly, the majority of these women forgo educational opportunities in order to provide water for their families. Furthermore, the lack of clean water sources causes the death of 3,900 children per day by water-borne illnesses.

In addition to increasing people’s awareness of the struggle for clean water access, the event raised more than $5000 – enough to outfit at least sixteen homes or several public buildings with water collection systems. Proceeds from the event will also help finance the Genocide Intervention Network, which protects civilians in the Darfur region of the Sudan.

Building on ten years of partnership, Amizade volunteers will travel to Tanzania this summer and work with community members and local organizations to install the water tanks purchased through this event. These tanks are more than pieces of plastic; they raise people’s quality of life by ensuring safety and relieving a grueling workload. No longer required to spend hours each day fetching water just to survive, a child may finally be able to attend school, or a woman may be able to pursue professional training.

Amizade invites you to join us in Tanzania for a volunteer program (May 9-29) or university course (July 7-August 4), or to participate in another Amizade service and learning program. Over the past decade, hundreds of students and older adults from the greater Pittsburgh region have volunteered with Amizade in locations around the world. Please visit our website for a list of upcoming programs and ways to stay involved.

Also, please join us again next year for the 3rd Annual Water Walk for Women’s Rights. Working together, we can build a better world in which all people have access to the basic necessities of life.