[media-credit name=”Courtesy The Water Project Organization” align=”aligncenter” width=”702″][/media-credit]
From Monday, January 12 to Friday, January 23, the Water Project club is hosting a book fundraiser at the school to benefit the San Francisco Book Project, whose goal is to decrease illiteracy rates by providing reading materials to those in need. As of January 16, the club has collected 400 books but hopes to collect at least 2,000, one to represent every student at the school.
“We wanted to close the achievement gap and try to empower as many people in the Bay Area to have a better education,” Water Project advisor Freedom Cheteni said. “So the goal is to empower every single person at Los Altos High School to be an agent of change.”
The fundraiser serves as a side project for the club, whose primary mission is to expand human access to water, particularly in Africa. Last year, the club raised $5,000 to construct a well in Uganda that now provides water to over 300 families.
“Part of our commitment to Free The Children is to have a local project and a global project,” Water Project president freshman Lia Evard said. “Our global project [was to construct] the well and for our local project, we chose to help with illiteracy and schools that don’t have the resources to buy books for their classrooms.”
While Water Project club members focus much of their attention on water related projects, they also try to help children alongside the international charity Free the Children. Since the well was finished in mid October last year, young girls in Kyitagi Village, Uganda now have the opportunity to go to school rather than spend the day walking long distances to carry water.
The ripples in local and global aid being made by the club is the result of a collective initiative started by freshmen Anisha Desai and Lia Evard, something which Cheteni attributes to be an inspiration for him.
“There was nothing more powerful for me than to see young people having a concern for humanity,” Cheteni said. “My role is ensuring their concern for humanity is addressed.”
In addition to providing public service, the Water Project club will attend “We day,” a North American youth empowerment event organized by Free the Children organization. Traditionally, “We day” has inspirational speakers and celebrities speak in front of the thousands of high school students that attend the one day event. California’s 2015 “We day” is being held on Wednesday, February 25 at the San Jose SAP Center.