In 2019, WaterStep launched its first Teen Board. A group made up of high school students from Louisville and Southern Indiana, as well as a few students in the Chicagoland area. The group’s goal was to organize shoe drives in their schools, churches and businesses they had connections to, as well as to spread awareness of WaterStep’s mission and the organization’s life-saving work around the world. The group was full of energy and passion and started off strong … and then COVID hit. They didn’t let this stop them, but they did have to pivot and figure out new ways to accomplish their goals. Students got creative and organized outdoor contactless shoe drives at churches and porch drop-off shoe drives in their neighborhoods. Many of the original Teen Board members have now graduated and handed the reins off to a new group of passionate students, pictured above.
Led by sophomore Allie Castor of Christian Education Consortium and 7th grader Lexi Jacobs of Sacred Heart Model School, this energetic group of students represent 7 schools in the Louisville Metro and Southern Indiana areas. They are full of new ideas and have already begun making a difference by starting shoe drives in their schools, churches and with their sports teams. We can’t wait to see what all they accomplish. The future is bright!
Not sure what shoes have to do with water? Check out this post: https://waterstep.org/what-do-shoes-have-to-do-with-water-2/
The teen movement has also gone international! Humphrey Mechuma is a WaterStep field consultant working in Kenya to make WaterStep a household name. One of his current projects is initiating WaterStep clubs within schools. There are currently 13 schools with clubs who are championing safe water and healthy sanitation within their schools. One of these clubs is at the Our Lady of Mercy Girls School in Kenya, pictured above. Everyday, they make bleach to sell in their community. They have branded their business and have bottles, stickers and even a commercial (click here to watch!) to promote their OLOM Bleach (stands for Our Lady of Mercy). The funds received go to offset the school fees for the 1300 students enrolled. The bleach is also being used at the school to clean and wash linens, which is saving $250 each week from the school’s budget. In addition to selling their bleach, they are also giving away 40 liters each week to community leaders to use as needed (pictured below).
Thank you students for your part in continuing the work of WaterStep Nation. Keep saving lives with safe water!