10 Days Initiative Brings Clean Water to Rwanda

From daily trips to the campus Starbucks, to nights out in downtown Denver, many college students spend more than they intend to on beverages throughout the week.
However, what may seem like a small expenditure in the United States can really add up to something much larger across the globe.
The Wells Project, a new initiative at Mines, is challenging students to undergo a small sacrifice to make a big difference for families in Rwanda.
Each November, participants forego all beverages except water for ten days and then donate the money they would have spent on drinks to building water wells in Rwanda.
“The average American spends enough on beverages in 10 days to give a family of four in Rwanda water for 10 years,” Thomas explained.
In addition to providing clean water, the Wells Project also aims to teach locals about sanitation and bring new jobs to the area.
“Many people just aren’t aware of the diseases that are in the water that they are drinking and so they have a big celebration at the end when the well is ready to go.” Living Water International also hires local citizens to maintain the wells and troubleshoot any issues that might arise, which provides new jobs in the area and ensures that each well is a sustainable community fixture.
“It is a really tangible thing.
It is not money that is going to some fund and you never see the impact you have.” While Living Water International has projects all across the globe, the funds raised through the 10 days initiative go entirely towards constructing new wells in the district of Ruhango in Rwanda, which specifically helps women and children in the area.
While the 10 days project at CSM raised $1,769 this year, Thomas’ next goal for the initiative is to obtain Tier 2 status through the Board of Student Organizations so that all funds raised can go directly towards building new wells.

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