Churchill High School students recently learned how lucky they are to have clean water.
On Oct. 17, the high school hosted H2O 4 U, a speaking tour sponsored by Free the Children. The tour is travelling across Canada to educate students at 70 different high schools and middle schools about local and global water issues.
After seven years of being involved with the organization, and fundraising more than $10,000 for Free the Children, Churchill was selected by officials with the organization to host the speaker series. The cost of bringing in the speakers was covered by RBC.
The school invited elementary school students from Ecole Laura Secord School to participate in the assembly, and hosted a mini workshop for the students.
The day kicked off with an all-school assembly during which students learned about water shortages around the world.
"(We talked) about how (we’re) wasting a lot of water, and how we can cut down and use it across the world," said Griffin Jenkins, a Grade 10 student.
Following the assembly, 24 students from Churchill’s Peace Learners Group, a human rights-focused school club, participated in a workshop with the Free the Children speakers.
The workshops were designed to encourage students to take action in their respective communities, and focused on Free the Children’s water projects, which aim to provide clean water for communities around the world.
"It’s a really cool opportunity for our school," said Kathleen Maddocks, a Grade 10 student.
"I think (these workshops) are important because as students we can take (the information) and teach it to all of our friends. We have our whole life ahead of us to take what we’ve learned and put it into action."
H2O 4 U speakers Kim Mcleod and Robert Palmer said they were excited to speak to students at Churchill, and hope they were inspired by what they heard and saw at the workshop.
"I think it’s really important for high school students to get onboard, because their generation is going to make up for the failures of past generations," Palmer said.
"(They are) going to be the ones who promote change in the future, and that’s why it’s important to raise awareness with (them) — because they’re going to be the ones who improve the situation."
David Law, a Grade 7 and 8 teacher at Churchill who started the Peace Learners group with students and colleague Tanis Westdal, said he thinks the workshops will have a big impact on the young people involved.
"These workshops are great. The kids (gave) me great feedback. I think it’s going to inspire them to keep pushing for a better world," Law said.
"The students are the next generation, and if someone is going to deal with the many crises we have in the world, then they’re the ones who are going to do it."