Teens reach across the world to help

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:48

From a local evening of music to a trip to South Africa, the focus is on clean water for rural villages, By Aryan Falahatpisheh SPARTA — Residents can fill their pool, drink their lemonade and shower without having to worry about catching illness or running out of water. However, this is not the case in over 700 villages in South Africa without clean or running water. In order to raise money and awareness to help these villages, Nora Jelly, a Sparta High School senior, invited local musicians to play at the HOW To Help South Africa Music Night at Greene’s Beans Cafe on Friday, June 27. Twelve young musicians from the age of 13 to 18 played guitar, played piano, and sang. There were solos, duets, and different musicians sang and played together. It was an all-around comfortable atmosphere and most of the musicians knew each other. Brian Galli and Olivia Pittius performed a skillful yet funny dramatic reading that had the audience laughing and applauding. The event raised about $300 from donations and revenue from selling chocolate and a special children’s book on recycling. Jelly also charged musicians $5 to play, although some paid $10 and received a T-shirt. The money went to Hands on the World (HOW) Global, a non-profit started in 2006 by Rachael Paulson to help the 700 impoverished school villages in South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal region without clean, running water. While it mostly works within South Africa, it has also spread to other places like Ghana, India and Haiti. HOW Global helps the villages through a step-by-step process to get water and achieve sustainability. HOW Global first helps bring water and gardens at a school, clinic or orphanage in the center of a village, and from there the piping is distributed to the rest of the village. Paulson expects much from the villages in return. They are expected to keep the school, clinic or orphanage clean, to start and take care of the gardens and to hold educational workshops. Paulson focuses on education. “Education is key to everything. The education is what makes them carry on what we’ve started.” Teachers and leaders attend workshops on water and planting safety issues. The younger children learn lessons such as washing their hands and brushing their teeth. Jelly, along with Paulson and 12 others will be going to South Africa at the end of the summer from Aug. 10 to Aug. 20. They will visit the first school Paulson helped, which has become so successful that students are starting gardens at their homes. The volunteers will also go to the Marithal Combined Mission School where they will be holding educational workshops. They plan to visit the Sokhela Primary School, which does not have running water. HOW Global still needs around $5,000 to buy and install an electric pump at the Sokhela School and volunteers are trying to raise the money. Visit www.howglobal.org for more information.