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This article was published 3/2/2015 (2332 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
One local student is hoping Winnipeggers will face the cold for a six-kilometre walk on Feb. 15 to help fund a rainwater harvesting project at a school in the Karatu District of Tanzania.
"We’re Winnipeggers," said Bronwyn Fenn, organizer of the Winnipeg for Water Walk. "We’re used to the cold. We have all this frozen fresh water around us, and so many people (around the world) have to walk so far just to get their water."
A former student of Kildonan East Collegiate, Fenn became involved with a group of fellow students who raised funds for the Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR). The funds went to two schools in drought stricken communities in Tanzania to help harvest and conserve rainwater.
"We sold perogies, held random fundraisers," she said.
Fenn graduated in 2010, and that year her student group visited Karatu, Tanzania.
"We visited both schools," Fenn said. "It was an eye-opening experience."
Since then, Fenn has continued her fundraising efforts, founding the charity Winnipeg for Water to "raise awareness about water issues around the world and funds to help build a rainwater harvesting system at a school in Tanzania."
Fenn, now a student at Red River College, explained that Winnipeg for Water grew out of an assignment she received in class.
The length of the upcoming six-kilometre walk was not picked arbitrarily.
"Six kilometres is the average distance that women and children without access to water have to walk each day (to get water)," Fenn explained.
Kiwasi Primary School, the school in Tanzania Winnipeg for Water is raising funds for, has approximately 450 students, and is located four kilometres from the nearest water source, making for a daily eight-kilometre round-trip
"It isn’t a clean water source though," Fenn said. "It’s a dam, that’s shared with animals."
It is Fenn’s hope that the funds raised on Feb. 15, which are being combined with fundraising efforts of students at Kildonan East Collegiate, will help pay for the sort of rainwater harvesting system that CPAR provided to the schools she visited in 2010.
"It makes such a difference," she said.
Fenn is hoping to have at least 100 people take part in the walk, which takes place at the North Kildonan Community Centre on Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. Visit winnipegforwater.com for more information on Winnipeg for Water and to register for the fundraising walk.
The Herald community journalist
Sheldon Birnie is the reporter/photographer for The Herald. The author of Missing Like Teeth: An Oral History of Winnipeg Underground Rock (1990-2001), his writing has appeared in journals and online platforms across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. A husband and father of two young children, Sheldon enjoys playing guitar and rec hockey when he can find the time. Email him at email@example.com Call him at 204-697-7112