Some Students Stop Drinking Soda for 10 Days
University of Arkansas students “drank water to give water” in a humanitarian project called 10 Days.
The purpose of 10 Days is to raise awareness of the drinking water conditions in Rwanda and show people they can do something to help without additional money, said Henry Proegler, director of advocacy at Living Water International. The idea is that people will only drink water for 10 days, and the money that would be spent on soft drinks or coffee would be donated to the project.
The national project began at Texas A&M in 2007 and has expanded to more than 50 campuses in those four years.
Ten Days has spread nationally through Facebook events and word of mouth so there are no advertising costs, Proegler said.
This “grass roots advertising” helps the community as well as the students get involved, Proegler said.
The faith-based project is part of the non-profit organization Living Waters International. The fundamental value of this project is “take care of your neighbor,” Proegler said.
The goal of the project is to raise $100,000 total to provide clean drinking water to 10 communities in Rwanda. Proegler believes that this goal very practical, he said. Last year “with just a handful of schools we were able to raise $50,000,” Proegler said, now the number of campuses involved has tripled.
“The UA will probably contribute a good amount of money,” said Cory Garren, a student at the UA who has promoted the project, “I would like for the UA to raise enough to build a well,” which is about $10,000.
Garren and a group of students involved in Christ on Campus heard of the event through friends at other universities and decided to do 10 Days at the UA. The group has teamed up with Rwandan international students on campus to hand out information on the drinking water conditions and display Rwandan art.
Garren has set a personal goal to drink only water, but there are other options like give up one thing a day or just donating money.
“It’s not just a fundraiser,” Proegler said, “it’s about the experience of not having things that are everyday items to us.”
Donations can be made through the project’s website www.10days.cc. The money goes directly in to an account set up for the project, Proegler said. A group that lives in Rwanda and works with the non-profit, Living Waters International, will get the money directly from the account to fund drilling wells in the communities.
The drilling for clean water wells will begin in 2012.
“We want the wells to last as long as possible,” Proegler said, and to ensure their longevity, the team in Rwanda is educating people on well maintenance and health and hygiene practices.