Did you know in South Africa alone, women collectively walk the equivalent distance of 16 times to the moon and back per day to gather water for their families? The United Nations believes that facts such as this should be widely known, so they created World Water Day.
What is World Water Day?
World Water Day is recognized internationally as an opportunity for the worldwide community to learn more about water related issues. The holiday is a chance to motivate others through water-related learnings and to take action to make an impact.
When is World Water Day?
International observance for water was first recommended in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. As a result, the United Nations General Assembly responded by designating March 22nd as World Water Day. It has been held on that day annually since 1993.
World Water Facts
- School aged girls spend several hours a day trekking to and from deep water boreholes (wells).
- Women often walk 10-15 kilometers (6-10 miles) per day to carry 15 liters (4 gallons) on their heads for the long trek home.
- Typically, four gallons of water typically lasts a family for only a day or two.
World Bicycle Relief is committed to provide life-changing transportation to women and children across the globe, allowing easier, safe access to every human’s basic need: clean, life-giving water.
WWD for WBR: Fundraise on World Water Day
Today, World Bicycle Relief is recording household benefits of the Bicycles for Education Empowerment Project (BEEP) in Zimbabwe and concluded that many school children use their Buffalo Bicycle to transport water to and from their homes. Due to less time spent on chores, there was a 28% increase in school attendance and 59% improvement in academic performance among girls who received bikes.
Garett Higney witnessed The Power of Bicycles firsthand during World Bicycle Relief Africa Rides trip and shared that families were able to be more efficient while working, doing chores, getting to and from school, and much more. The experience helped me realize how lucky we are to have all of these basic necessities and resources right at our fingertips.
How are bikes and water related?
- On weekends and after school, students and their families utilize the bike as a resource for other chores, including collecting water.
- Bicycles allow for more frequent trips to boreholes (wells), cutting down the high chances of catching illnesses and diseases due to sitting water at a family’s home.
- Traveling by bicycle reduces the risk of abduction or abuse because women do not spend as long walking and are able to move quicker.
Now that you know some powerful facts, educate others of what you learned. You’re halfway there with observing World Water Day! But what now? Take action and start one of these fundraising activities:
5 Fundraising Activities You Can Do Now:
1. Share this blog post with others on Facebook to raise awareness and highlight something you learned.
Activities for Students and Schools
2. Set up a water or lemonade stand near a bike trail. Donate your profits to World Bicycle Relief.
3. Compete against other school classrooms to fill recycled water bottles with loose change for a month. Donate the proceeds to World Bicycle Relief.
Event Ideas for Grownups
4. Watching March Madness basketball with friends at your local hangout? Add a philanthropic twist. Every time your cup of water is refilled, take out $5 from your wallet and give it to the designated WBR money collector. At the end of the game, reflect on how accessible water is to you and donate the proceeds to World Bicycle Relief.
5. Host a meat-free dinner party. Display various water facts on water pitchers or on tables including how going meatless will decrease your water footprint.