On May 5th, over 500 people gathered at the Seattle Center to carry containers full of water to walk 5 kilometers in solidarity with those who have to make similar journeys every day. Water 1st International of Seattle organized the event to raise money to support clean water and hygiene products in the world’s poorest communities in six different developing countries. The walk began at the International Fountain and made two laps around the Seattle Center, bringing attention and camaraderie to the fight for social justice.
While Water 1st is continuing fundraising through May 31st, the walk has raised over $90,000 dollars, which is enough to provide 1,200 children with clean water in their homes for a lifetime. Currently, over 200 million people, mostly women and young girls, have to spend 5 hours a day walking several miles to collect water for drinking, cooking and washing. The full containers of water weigh about forty pounds. About 5,000 deaths each day are attributed to causes that could be prevented by having access to sanitation and clean water. Water 1st International is dedicated to preventing these deaths and lessoning the burden on young girls to collect water so that they have time to attend school and live a full life.
One Seattle teen fundraiser stood out above the crowd. Fourteen year old Giuliana Sercu has raised nearly $10,000 for the Carry 5 event after being inspired by a trip to Ethiopia in 2011. She says her passion from the cause comes from seeing the problems first hand, and knowing that an amount as little as $75 can change a child’s life. Another young person, a 6th grader named Elli, raised $7,500 dollars. Her inspiration was from watching a video Water 1st showed at her school in 2nd grade. Mobilizing youth to change the world is making a big impact in the communities that need the most help. Both young ladies said the best way to raise money is send emails, letters and talk to as many people as possible.
Anyone can still donate to the Carry 5 event through Water 1st International’s page. A donation of $75 dollars can give a child a lifetime of access to clean water.