Kent State’s Thirst Project Club works to make a difference in the global water crisis and president Jenna Gilbreath hopes the group’s message will spread further throughout Kent to ignite global change.
The club operates with the goal of raising money and awareness for the global water crisis on Kent’s campus.
“The more people we can get talking about the global water crisis, the more people we can get doing something to end it,” Gilbreath said.
The Thirst Project Club originates from a larger nonprofit, the Thirst Project, that started when several college students heard about the global water crisis and decided to take action.
“The whole idea is activating young people around this issue,” Gilbreath said.
Gilbreath participated in the Thirst Project in high school, and she decided to bring the club to Kent’s campus her freshman year.
“It’s something that I want to try to bring awareness to on our campus because I truly believe it’s one of the greatest global humanitarian issues we face on our planet,” she said.
Recently, the Thirst Project Club held a virtual “Walk For Water” event on Earth Day where it raised $1,100. Walk For Water was a walk of 3.75 miles.
“We choose that number because 3.75 miles is the average distance women and children in developing communities walk in order to get water, and most of the time that water is contaminated,” said Thirst Project Club member Lainey Smith.
One of the main goals of this event involved spreading awareness of the 3.75-mile distance that women and children have to walk for their water.
“Imagine being eight years old carrying a 45 pound jerry can every single day for miles,” Gilbreath said.
“Oftentimes this means that children don’t have time to get an education, and if they do they have very limited time to study. Women don’t have the time to get jobs to contribute financially to their homes,” Gilbreath said.
The Thirst Project Club plans to continue its “Walk For Water” event annually. Gilbreath believes that the event will continue to grow as more people get involved with the project and join the club’s cause.
“This is really an opportunity for students to be a part of history,” Gilbreath said. “We are going to push this whole crisis that is a huge global humanitarian issue into the history books. So it’s a huge opportunity for students to make a global impact.”
Chris Bright covers diversity. Contact him at [email protected]