By Da’Sha Tuck, Staff writer
In the time it takes to read this article, 75 children will be dead from drinking contaminated water.
“There are still more than 600 million people in the world living without clean water,” said Roger Weis, founding faculty coordinator of WAVE.
WAVE is an on campus/community organization focused on funding the purchase and installation of water purification systems nationwide.
Weis started WAVE on Murray State’s campus two years ago to work directly with Living Waters for the World, a global nonprofit organization that installs water purification systems for countries in need. WAVE is the only college organization working directly with Living Waters for the World.
“Committed to providing clean water for a generation. Living Waters for the World volunteer water teams focus their activity within LWW’s established international networks: Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Southeast Mexico and Yucatan Mexico,” said Wil Howie, Living Waters for the World Founder.
Last year, WAVE raised more than $3,500 for Living Waters for the World. With that, one purification system was bought, shipped and installed in a small village of several thousand people.
Weis, his leadership team and student members believe this year they can do more.
WAVE is starting off with almost $3,000 in donations from local businesses. This year’s goal is $5,000.
The second annual Splash Down Events will begin this semester. Members of WAVE will be selling water bottles for a dollar in front of the Curris Center, playing paint darts (three darts for a dollar, selling paper water bottles that can be purchased, colored and hung up at the bookstore and other events including a Halloween Ping-Pong Tournament.
WAVE has adopted Guatemala for this year’s fundraising. All proceeds will go directly to water purification systems for Guatemala.
Weis said he asked the Living Waters for the World coordinators where the largest need was and Guatemala was in the worst shape.
Other than having events on campus, WAVE goes out into the community to raise money as well. Weis said they visit churches and host what they call “bucket brigades.”
Tim Belcher, from Murray, has been involved with Living Waters for the World for 8 years. He said he had the opportunity to help install a water system in Mexico.
“I haven’t been involved with WAVE that much but from what I know, WAVE itself is making a positive impact,” Belcher said.
WAVE has already had its first member meeting for the semester, but there is plenty of time to get involved.
“Our students get to feel good about what they are doing,” Weis said. “Meanwhile having the opportunity to be involved with a global non-profit.”
For more information, contact Weis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“To me, It’s unacceptable,” Weis said. “I’ll keep doing this until I can’t breathe because I really believe in it,” Weis said.