When students are filling up a water bottle in MacHall or brushing their teeth at home, they don't stop to consider where that water is coming from or how lucky they are to have access to it. For the roughly 100 members of a new Students' Union club, Hope 2 Opportunity or H2O, this isn't the case.
"We were all really invested in doing something about water issues -- most people don't really stop and think about the importance of water, especially here in Canada where we have an abundance that is cleaner than most nations," said vice-president publicity Charleen Salmon.
With a mission of contributing to efforts that provide developing countries with safe drinking water, the club hopes to raise awareness about water issues and to help break the cycle of poverty through providing access to clean water.
H2O has teamed up this year with The Water Project, an organization which builds wells in impoverished communities in Africa. They hope to raise enough money to fund the construction of their own well in Sudan. According to president Bohyung Min, the club isn't restricting itself to partnering with a single organization, because they don't want to limit their impact. "We teamed up with The Water Project because they're doing such a great job of providing safe, potable water for developing countries, but it's not just about which country we want to work in, it's about which country has the most need," said Min.
From March 19-23, H2O is hoping to increase awareness of water issues, both at home and in low-to-middle income countries, through holding a Water Awareness Week in honour of World Water Day on March 22. The club will host a booth that includes games and interactive activities. Throughout the week, the booth will feature presentations by the Rotaract Club and the Centre for Affordable Water and Technology, as well as a collaboration with SNAPS, a photography club on campus, to display images depicting water issues and student commitment to solving these issues. The club will also hold a lecture night featuring experts in a variety of fields discussing the issue of water from different viewpoints, as well as a screening of the award-winning documentary Water on the Table.