Video By Deborah Cardoso
By Dalinda Ifill-Pressat
Imagine having to walk 2.5 miles the next time you want a drink of water.
That’s what millions of women and children in developing countries have to do each day and participants at the BU UNICEF Water Walk demonstrated that by walking a 2.5 mile loop along the Charles River on Saturday April 15.
The annual event held by BU UNICEF is meant to raise money and awareness for the global water crisis. According to their estimates, women and children in developing nations have to walk an average of 4 kilometers, or 2.5 miles, to access clean water.
“The main purpose is to raise awareness not just in the BU community but in the Boston community so we could let people know about it and educate people on why sanitation and clean water is so important,” said Leona Shinkai, vice president of BU UNICEF. According to UNICEF there are more than 750 million people who do not have access to suitable drinking water.
The 4K-walk lead participants on a path around the Charles River, over the Boston University Bridge and the Arsenal Street Bridge. Some chose to make the experience more realistic by adding the weight of three-liter plastic jugs of Poland Spring water to their walk amidst the sunny 70-degree weather. Some participants also volunteered to intensify the experience by racing with the water jugs for the last few meters of the path.
Nicky Eleuteri has been a member of BU UNICEF since his first semester as a junior – he was one of the participants who raced the final meters of the walk with a water jug.
“We had a good showing of people everyone had a great time and the race at the end was really cool to participate in,” Eleuteri said.
Timothy Jennings, Junior at Boston University and member of Global Water Brigades BU, participated in the BU UNICEF Water Walk for the second time this year. He said that it was a fun event to be a part of to focus water problems both abroad and at home.
“A lot of people look at it as more of a foreign problem or just something that they don’t have to deal with; maybe they’ll donate money but they don’t get actively involved, so it’s an important thing to get involved,” Jennings said.
Jennings was joined by president of Global Water Brigades BU, Meagan Olive who said, “We have similar goals to BU UNICEF. I think that most people here know that the water crisis is a huge problem and effects a lot of people in other countries and even state-wide like with FLINT, but a huge part of actually making change is to have a conversation about it and spread awareness about it, so doing something like this walk today emulating the true struggles that people have is the first step to actually making the world a better place.”
The BU UNICEF Water Walk is an initiative held in support of the UNICEF Tap Project. Roughly 2o people participated in this years’ walk and a reported $200 was raised to support the cause.
According to Brandon Bedell, president of BU UNICEF, 100 percent of participants’ proceeds are donated directly to the UNICEF Regional Office in Boston to use towards global water crisis initiatives.