DOWNEY – The KIWIN’S of Diamond Division, led by Lt. Gov. Diana Mae Baliscao, a junior at Downey High School, hosted a successful “Walk for Water” event on Sept. 2 in Bellflower, bringing awareness to the scarcity of clean drinking water in many parts of the world.
These student leaders formed a partnership with the Thirst Project, a non-profit organization whose aim is to bring safe drinking water to communities around the world where it is not immediately available.
Participants included staff, faculty, community members, and more than 100 high school students from local high schools including Downey, Santa Fe, Southeast Academy, Lynwood, Firebaugh, Narbonne, Palos Verdes Penninsula, St. Paul, and Torrance.
Participants walked one mile with large gallons of water or 44 pound jerry cans to demonstrate the trek that many women and children around the world make each day to collect clean water.
The Thirst Project Walk for Water was held to draw attention to the scarcity of safe drinking water around the world and raise funds to build wells all across the continent of Africa and countries like India and El Salvador where villages do not have immediate drinking water.
Before the walk, a powerful presentation was given by Thirst Project Vice President for Student Activation, Evan Wesley. Some shed tears as they watched a video of the suffering that so many families go through in countries affected by the water crisis. In the end, all attendees were educated and inspired to take action to end the water crisis.
Participants were impacted and learned the severity of the water crisis is in third world countries.
“We take water for granted here in the United States because most of us are just steps away to the nearest source of clean drinking water and in many parts of the world women and children have to walk more than 3 miles on average to find water,” said Michelle Alvarez, a student at Downey High School.
The event culminated with lunch sponsored by Downey Mayor Pro Tem Rick Rodríguez. After lunch, KIWIN’S Diamond Division Lt. Gov. Baliscao and her student leadership team presented a $4,000 check to the Thirst Project.
Students raised the money themselves to help end the water crisis and save lives.
“We are thrilled to partner with the KIWIN’S of Diamond Division on this event and address the issue of the water crisis that exists in many countries around the world,” said Evan Wesley, Thirst Project Vice President for Student Activation.
“We are so proud of the KIWIN’S for speaking up and for contributing their talent and energy to the Walk. As high school students, they are already making an impact by educating their own schools and communities about the water crisis but most importantly they are doing something about it.”
The Downey High School KIWIN’S have no plans of stopping now as they plan to host a Walk for Water at Downey High School’s Allen Layne Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Their goal is to get the city of Downey students and residents involved in helping to end the water crisis that exists in countries less fortunate than us.