by Emily Armentrout
W.A.T.E.R. is derived from Wabash students cAre for The watEr in AfRica. This fundraiser was started by former Wabash Middle School 7th grade World History teacher, Justin Vail, and is being continued by the current teacher, Adam Hall.
Hall assigned his students as essay focusing on the children in Africa. The idea behind the essay was not only to learn about the lives of African children but to also write an essay so convincing that anyone that read it would want to help those children.
Included below are snippets from some of the students’ essays, submitted by Mr. Hall:
“The homes are not very safe and most of the families are separated because of conflicts,” wrote Isabel France. “Most of the children are soldiers and orphans because of war and disease. If a child has a disease, then his or her parent will push them out on the streets because they don’t have the money to help their sick child. 55 percent of the people live on less than a dollar a day, so buying what they need can be difficult. Most of the children are orphans because of conflicts. They come home from their mission and their family has moved away, so the child has to sleep on the rough streets. A child may go into war at a very young age and by the time they come out of war they are older and don’t know what happened to their family. They estimated four million orphans are on the streets around the country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
“The daily life in Kenya is a struggle, especially for the majority that live in ‘slums,’” wrote Hannah Halverson. “A slum is a village that is created by scraps that are casted away from another city. The capital of Kenya, Nairobi, consists of 3.5 million people. Two-thirds live if slums. Mathare is a slum valley located in Nairobi. It’s said to be the poorest slum in the world. In Mathare Valley, they live off one to two dollars a day, which is mostly spent on rent for their 12x12, electrical-less, ramshackle house. The children living in slums have a small chance of ever being rescued, which means never knowing of or understanding a better life.”
“The diseases in Mali are all deadly or are severe illnesses,” wrote Madisyn Deboard. “For most, there is no way of curing them. Some include; HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, malaria, cholera, and infant mortality. HIV/AIDS are from getting vacs, but from using the same needle on every person that gets one. These diseases are very deadly. Some symptoms of HIV/AIDS are flu-like illnesses, extreme weight loss/weight gain, and fever. Malnutrition is from not eating and not getting the nutrients you need. Malnutrition can be deadly. Some symptoms are irritable mood, slower growth rates, weight loss/loss of appetite, and slow wound healing. Malaria is from being bit by the Anopheles Mosquito. Malaria is very deadly. Some symptoms are cold/hot flashes, high fever, and headache/muscle pain. Cholera is from drinking contaminated water and foods. Little parasites get into your body, go straight for the small intestine and make you sick. The main symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea. Cholera can be life threatening. The symptoms are the same as a regular flu, but this is a horrible case of them. Lastly, infant mortality, this is when a child dies under the age of one. *According to www.our-africa.org *
The child life in Mali is not this countries’ strong suit. The land is almost always flooded from the Niger River. The children mostly eat rice with contaminated waters. The child mortality rate is out of 1,000 children, 191 will die. The child nutrition is also not well, 29 percent of children are underweight, which can lead to child mortality. *According to www.our-africa.org.*”
“In Ethiopia they have a shortage of staff and doctors,” wrote Chloe Stevens. “Over four-fifths of Ethiopians live in a rural area, where it can be a struggle to access health care facilities. The government aims to improve health workers in rural communities. Over 30,000 women have been trained to work in 15,000 health posts throughout the country. Women are an important part in Ethiopia’s development. The government relies on women so much because they are more than likely to remain in rural communities with their family. Female workers are given a year’s worth of medical training due to the fact that so many citizens are getting sick. Rural patients are referred to larger clinics, however options for treatment/surgery is limited due to shortage of staff. This affects Ethiopian children because they might not be getting the treatment they need, considering adults are treated before children.”
With the students’ study of Africa coming to a close, they will be given a test over the African countries. This is where the fundraising comes in. “The students raised money by finding sponsors that were willing to pay them a certain amount of money for each question that they get correct on a test,” Hall told The Paper.
The seventh grade students were expected to identify 54 African countries, and sponsors set the rate they wish to donate. “If the sponsor offers 25 cents for each answer and the students gets 20 correct, then they earned $5,” added Hall.
The students’ test was Monday, March 17, but donations will continue to be accepted for their fundraiser.
“With the support of Mr. Bumgardner and the middle school staff, I am just continuing what these students started years ago,” Hall told The Paper.
If you would like to make a donation to the W.A.T.E.R. fundraiser, you can contact Adam Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org.