Nation Ford students’ work pays off in Uganda

joverman@fortmilltimes.comAugust 21, 2013 

— It’s more than just a “drop in the bucket” by anyone’s standards.

Nation Ford High School’s Walk for Water club raised $5,500 for Drop in the Bucket to fund a well in Uganda. Drop in the Bucket is a nonprofit organization that builds wells and sanitation systems at large, rural schools in sub-Saharan Africa.

The club was formed by Kirsten Peterson and Carson Martin three years ago while they were students at Nation Ford High. Both are now sophomores in college. Peterson and Martin, members of the track team, were taking a walking break during practice one day and began brainstorming about ways they could make walking worthwhile, Peterson said.

“We were hot and thirsty and thought about how water is such a vital thing,” Peterson said.

The Walk for Water club was born.

In the first year of the club, members raised money with bake sales. In its second year, the club created Water Week, a week-long event that educated students about the need for a well in Uganda and encouraged them to donate to the well project through t-shirt sales, bake sales, and special events.

“[Students] really started to become part of the cause,” Peterson said.

At the end of Water Week, the school had raised enough for the well in Uganda. But it took almost a year for the right location to be found for the well, the crew assembled and the well completed.

When Peterson opened her email last week, she saw good news – photos of the completed well.

“That was the greatest feeling, opening that email. My heart has never been so happy,” she said.

The well at the school in Uganda will serve more than 700 village people a day, according to officials from Drop in the Bucket and can help prevent disease from poor drinking water.

A plaque was placed at the site of the well to note the school’s funding efforts. It reads, “Drop in the Bucket. With love from Nation Ford High School SC.” The club plans to continue fundraising in the hopes of funding another well and has continued Water Week at the school.

“I think that is the greatest reward. The evidence of something being successful is it continues after you leave. It is great that Nation Ford continues to build wells,” Peterson said.

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