Manitoulin Secondary School’s Share/Go-green group organized an epic water walk on May 11, 2019. Students and participants raised money and awareness for Me To We’s WE Walk for Water Campaign. They started the walk at 6 a.m. from Misery Bay to M’chigeeng and simultaneously from Wikwemikong to M’chigeeng, culminating in a feast at MSS at 6:30 p.m. The Walk For Water took each group 12 hours to finish. At the end, volunteers were waiting at the school with a feast.
The Manitoulin WE Walk For Water event was organized and led by youth from MSS. This 60 km walk promoted respect for the water systems and care for the earth. Mostly, the students wanted to do something important to raise awareness around protecting water and to do it in a show of solidarity. Students were also fundraising to support clean water projects around the world through WE.org. The event has raised $4,762 for sustainable water projects in the developing countries, far exceeding the goal of $1,000 — enough money to provide clean water for life to 190 people in developing countries.
Participants included 14 high school students, 20 elders, 7 elementary students, teachers, and community members. The event was supported by students from Manitoulin Secondary School and Wikwemikong High School, as well as many in the community: Noojmowin Teg Health Centre, Wahl Water, businesses, parents, teachers, and community members through much needed rest-stops, snacks, support vehicles, donations, and feast contributions.
After covering 120 km, the team is proud, humbled, excited, and overwhelmed. They learned to be grateful for the luxury of the water all around us. They were personally hurt by the litter strewn about that same precious water. Not only have participants made a difference in the lives of others, they were personally affected by creating memories, bonds, and lessons that will last forever. They are inspired to continue helping those 780 million people globally who don’t have access to clean water, and they realized that if individuals don’t protecting the water systems, Canada is heading in the same tragic direction.
After completing the 60 km walk, a participating elementary student said, “I am never going to walk that far again,” then she paused, “unless it is for another water walk … then I’d do it.”
Manitoulin Rainbow School Board Trustee Margaret Stringer participated in the walk and said, “I am extremely proud of the students and staff who organized and participated in the Walk For Water. The world needs people who care passionately about its future, and are willing to take action to support their beliefs. It was an honor to share that experience with them, and I am confident that they will continue to do great things as they move forward.”
Participants have truly affected the lives of others by providing water to developing global communities, raising awareness around water issues in the local community, and inspiring people to be better caretakers of the earth.