Rotary Club of Arden Hills/Shoreview

We were pleased to have Patty Hall from the White Bear Lake Rotary Club with us today.  Patty spoke to us about the organization she founded called "H2O For Life".  Patty's mother had a life-long love of the old Tarzan movies, which led to a mother/daughter trip to Africa about 12 years ago.  They went to see the animals but became strongly inspired by some village women they met who spent long hours every day walking to get water from a muddy stream.  When Patty returned home to work as a teacher at Highview Middle School in New Brighton, she challenged her students to raise money to help fund a project to bring clean water to Africa.  They worked all year and ended up raising $13,000!  The program grew from there and is continuing to be supported by many schools in our district, as well as by White Bear Lake Rotary with help from a district Rotary grant and the Proctor and Gamble corporation.  Together with these organizations, H2O For Life has completed 15 projects in Tanzania, 15 in Malawi and 15 in Nigeria.  Yet there are still more than 800 million people in the world lacking potable water and over 2 billion lacking access to toilets.  This impacts both men and women but falls harder on women as they become the ones with daily responsibility for collecting water.  The time spent doing this often makes school impossible, even if there were not other barriers to education.   A closing quote was "Don't waste time trying to educate a girl who doesn't have access to clean water.  Water comes first."