SPARTA TOWNSHIP, NJ - Rachael Paulson, author, and founder of the non-profit organization Hands On The World Global (HOW Global), attended Alpine Elementary School in Sparta Township to kick off “World Water Day” on Friday, March 22.
According to HOW Global, “It is estimated that there are millions of children who live each day without clean water.”
HOW Global is a project which involves children around the globe to raise awareness, come together, and support clean water for children who are less fortunate.
The second and third grade students at Alpine Elementary School have joined this campaign in order to make a difference.
The large group of students sat on the floor of the gymnasium and listened as teacher Michelle Telischak spoke.
“Last year, I met this wonderful lady, Mrs. Paulson. She told me there are places in the world that have no water or clean water,” said Telischak.
Telischak then asked the children to raise their hands if they had drank water, took a shower, and even brushed their teeth that day.
As an example, Telischak had picked up a water bottle which contained dirty brown water inside, and shook it back and forth for the students to look at.
At a young age, the students were able to tell Telischak that unclean water can “make someone sick,” and they would be “sad” if they had dirty water.
The children of Alpine Elementary School, along with 2,000 other children globally, will be raising money for World Water Day, by decorating their own water bottle label, and putting in coins to help with the water project.
When Telischak asked the students if they wanted to make a difference in their world, all the children immediately raised their hands high.
“This is why I love being a teacher,” Telischak explained. “Because children have the kindest hearts. We are all making a difference because we all care.”
Paulson then spoke to the children by telling them some background information about herself.
In the past, Paulson had become successful by publishing two children books in an effort to “change the environment.” Shortly, after that accomplishment, someone had asked Paulson if she would write a book about the children in Africa.
In an effort to find more information, Paulson had looked up research and dabbled with the internet. However, she was unable find the answers she was looking for, and decided to go to Africa by herself in 2006 to find out first hand about the water situation. Click here
for a previous article in The Alternative Press, about Paulson's journey.
With a translator by her side, Paulson had visited an African school, where she asked her translator to tell the people of Africa that she wanted to go to where there water was.
Paulson explained her journey of finding water by telling the children, “We started walking down the road and eventually climbed a mountain, and walked down a hill.”
To Paulson’s surprise, the water she was led to was rainwater in a mud hole.
“I saw beautiful little girls in their school uniforms drinking the water,” Paulson told the children.
Paulson had then decided to take every penny in her bank account from her published books, and ended up goingback to Africa for two weeks, in order to have a water well put in the ground.
“Today, that water made the garden grow and is feeding the orphans of Africa. I now have people all over the world helping me put water wells in the ground,” said Paulson.
The week prior to her presentation at Alpine Elementary School, Paulson had returned from Haiti in an effort to get clean water for Haitians.
With visual art, Paulson was able to illustrate to the children the types of cars Haitians drive, music they listen to, and houses they live in, and explained how there is no running water or electricity in their school system.
Paulson also demonstrated a “Life Straw” to the students, which is a straw that can be used to sip water that automatically kills water-borne diseases for up to one year.
Paulson said, “In most villages, parents do not name their children until they are five [years-old] because they don’t always survive from the water.”
The students repeated after Paulson by stating, “We can make a difference, we can change the world.”
The children of Alpine Elementary School will be collecting coins to raise money for Haiti and Kenya, Africa.
The United Nations celebrates World Water Day and HOW Global has become part of the global celebration which lasts until Earth Day on April 22.
Children are encouraged to fill an empty water bottle with coins, cap the bottle and return it to school by April 22.
The funds support the clean water projects in developing countries.
"How Global Inc. is a Sparta, NJ -USA based nonprofit organization that has organized water filters, water wells, water repairs, extension of piping and startup of food gardens for school villages in Africa and Haiti. All of their work in these villages includes educational workshops. Local author and founder of HOW Global, Rachael Paulson, will visit defined villages of Africa and Haiti and organize projects with the funds raised by your organization."
For more information on HOW Global, World Water Day and how one can donate, click here
for their official site.
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