Since 2005, the Fernwood school community has raised enough money to provide wells for 37 villages throughout the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. This means that we have made it possible for over 6000 people to have access to clean, potable water right in the midst of their villages, rather than walking several kilometres each day to collect water often contaminated by sewage, fertilizers, and other pollutants. SOPAR, a Canadian/Indian community development agency, oversees the construction of the wells.
Our "Great Water Walks" have been incredibly successful over the years. By walking to St Mary Lake to collect water and carry it back to their school, our students got to better understand the daily experience of millions of children in the developing world who must rely on dubious water sources far from their homes in order to survive. It also provided them with a real sense of accomplishment by reaching out to help others less fortunate than themselves in such a tangible and personal way. Each year, we have seen our students, along with their families and their community, respond to this very special school tradition with inspiring enthusiasm and generosity,.
With schools closed due to the COViD 19 pandemic, we will not be able to mark our 15th year of support for SOPAR with our traditional "Great Water Walk", so we are asking our students and their families to participate in a "Virtual Water Walk" to help fulfill our pledge to raise $1800 to fund two village wells this year. If you are part of the Fernwood School community, please support your children's participation in some way with their own Virtual Walk (and check out Kelda Logans great video at the top of this page on how that can be done!) If you are part of the the greater Salt Spring community, or even the wider global community, please consider making a donation to this very worthy cause. Any funds raised over our $1800 pledge will go directly to SOPAR in support of their village well projects. Please check out SOPAR's "Safe Water" page, one of many community projects they support in rural India.
Robin Andison on behalf of Fernwood Elementary School