Billiken for Clean Water Diary

by hannah vestal

Everyone deserves access to basic human rights, yet 783 million people in the world do not have the ability to get safe and clean water. This is roughly 1 in 9 of the world's population (The Water Project).

Many people, women and girls especially, bear the burden of walking miles at a time to gather water from ponds and streams that are full of water-born diseases that is making them and their families sick. This is robbing communities of their future (The Water Project).

I want to "walk" with the people who have to carry water jugs by carrying my own water jug all day every day.

My goal is to raise $7,500, which will go towards purchasing a windmill aqueduct for Water For Panama. This is a community level water system that both filters and purifies the water. How does it work? A centrally located windmill and water tank is constructed and pipelines carry clean water to tap stands between the residents homes. Then, the people do not have to carry water jugs like mine to get water!


September 5thToday was my first day of many caring a water jug to classes. It has been a very humbling experience so far.


September 23rdThis morning, I had no motivation to carry the water jug to my classes. I walk a lot slower with it and my arms get sore. But then I thought of all of the people who do not get a choice. They HAVE to carry a water jug every day because they do not have access to clean water where they live. 


September 26th—It was a true blessing last night to surpass my goal of $500 for my campaign for clean water. But then I stopped and asked myself, "where to from here?"

I prayed to God about it and the answer was clear: keep going.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." ~Joshua 1:9

I am making a new goal for myself of raising $1000. 


September 26thDay 1 of taking my jerry can with me ALL day has been a success so far. We got in a good workout together. 


October 10thGuys, we did it! $1,000 was made as of last night for Water For Panama. I cannot thank my fellow Billikens, friends, and family enough for their support in my campaign to help end the water crisis. 

I cannot end now, though, because 1 in 9 people in the world are still struggling to obtain clean water and they need our help! 

I want to be able to purchase a windmill aqueduct system for my friend Rachael, so this brings me to my new goal…$7,500!!!

October 20thToday, I walked four miles with my water jug. This is the average distance a person walks to get clean water. I cannot imagine having to do this every day. I was definitely sore by the time I was done. This makes me even more determined to buy the windmill aqueduct for Water For Panama. 

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October 31st—I got to spread awareness about the water crisis dressed as my favorite character from Despicable Me. I think my water jug enjoyed being a minion for a day.


November 15thOne of my heroes, Fr. James Martin, SJ, supporting my water campaign.


November 24th—My friend George decided to carry one of my jerry cans to help me spread awareness about the water crisis!