Madrona K-8 ‘Water Day’ fundraiser aims to bring fresh water to Ethiopia

Madrona K-8 School students made a splash at the school’s Water Day event last week, with the goal of raising money to help people in Ethiopia access clean water.

The event was a partnership between Madrona and the WE Charity organization, which helps bring resources like food and water to countries in Africa, Asia and South America. During the week leading up to the event, students learned about water scarcity in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya, said Madison Azim, a Madrona kindergarten teacher

“There’s been the same amount of water in the world,” she said. “It’s not like water is necessarily going away; it’s about accessibility.”

The event was held on the school’s track, where students participated in 11 field-day activities and games like tug of war, ring toss and blowing bubbles. Students also decorated water drop-shaped cutouts that will be hung around the school. A popular activity at the event was a dunk tank where students lined up for a chance to dunk middle school math teacher Tom Gorney in a water tank.

The event also offered students the chance to carry buckets of water to simulate what people in other countries experience when traveling for water. Another activity allowed students to carry cups of water on their head, similar to how water is carried to towns and villages in some countries.

“Kids are carrying buckets, because we found out most people travel many hours a day to get water,” Azim said.

Prior to the event, each class raised money from online donations through the charitable donation crowdfunding platform Crowdrise. The class that generated the most money won free extra shots at the dunk tank. The winning class — comprised of 54 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students — raised more than $700.The student-generated donations were also matched by a private donation from a WE Charity corporate partner, Azim said.

“We anticipate raising over $5,000,” she said. “And that was our goal, which is exciting.”

–Story and photos by Cody Sexton

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