Students walk for water

Students at Konos Academy Ginalee Betsill, Rebekah Adams, Logan Allen and Justin Hawk. Photo/Submitted.

Middle school students in the Konos Juniors program at Konos Academy are experiencing literature in a life-changing way. Inspired by their literature book “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park, the students are raising money for former Lost Boy Salva Dut’s organization, Water for South Sudan. The organization drills new wells in villages throughout South Sudan so that villagers no longer have to walk miles each day to collect unsafe drinking water from the nearest pond.

Access to clean well-water allows young village girls to cease their daily walks to water and finally attend school. Additionally, the wells provide villagers the ability to grow small gardens and to start new businesses such as basket weaving, which requires soaking of the reeds before they can be woven.

When a well is drilled in a village, it will often result in the building of a school, a health clinic and a marketplace for trade. According to the World Health Organization [WHO], more than 3.4 million people die each year due to water related diseases.

In addition to raising money for wells, the Konos Juniors students learned empathy for the people of South Sudan by taking their own simulated long walk to water around the school grounds. Students carried buckets of water on their heads along a route that included simulated hazards they read about in their literature book: lions, snakes and thorns.

Walking in family groups, the students measured the total water they were able to carry “home” and then had to determine what the water would be used for over the next 24 hours. The week before their walk, the students completed water usage charts to calculate how much water they used in daily living. Referring to these charts, it became evident that they simply couldn’t carry enough water to meet all their needs.

Konos Academy is a homeschool hybrid program in Fayetteville, Georgia. For more information about classes and enrollment, visit their website . To make a donation to Water for South Sudan through the Konos Juniors fundraiser visit before May 4.