Students Carry on the Walk for Water Legacy

Freshmen who started it all with Mrs. Juska have now become the senior leaders

Anna Whitehead, Editorial Board

Brewster High School’s We Walk for Water 2022 was a huge success. Led by Mrs. Juska, students participated in this year’s walk out on the track on Thursday, May 26th before Memorial Day Weekend. In previous years, only freshman students that had Mrs. Juska as a teacher had the opportunity to participate, but this year the walk was open to students in all grades.

The day began in the PAC, where some senior student leaders shared how they began the Walk for Water as freshmen in Mrs. Juska’s class. Mrs. Juska discussed the importance of this project and the way that we were truly changing lives by doing this.

Current juniors had read They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky by Judy A. Bernstein as freshmen in Mrs. Juska’s class in 2019. Co-author Alephonsion “Alepho” Deng sent us a video thanking us for the work that we’re doing. Students were able to watch it together as a group, and it was very meaningful to hear from someone who wrote a book about what we were walking for! Mrs. Juska then hosted a Zoom call with Lynn Malooly, Executive Director of Water for South Sudan, the organization that we donate all of our raised donations to. Hearing from Mrs. Malooly was really special as we were able to hear more about who we were helping and exactly where the money was going. She shared a presentation with pictures of wells being drilled for students in those towns and schools, and even answered a few of our questions. It was a really cool part of our day that really got us ready for the day of walking we had ahead of us.

As we were walking out to the track to begin our walk, we found out that we had just reached our twenty thousand dollar goal. It was extremely motivating to know that we had just reached our goal right before we began our walk.

The walk itself had a lot of symbolism to it. We walked three hours (from 8:30 to 11:30) to represent the three hours that girls in South Sudan walk to the nearest pond or water source. We then had a lunch break, and at that point many of us realized just how tiring a three hour walk is. We also took notice of the access to lunch, snacks, bathrooms and clean water that we had during our walk, which are things that the girls in South Sudan do not. Students finished walking at 2:15 pm. The day was long! The average American home has two to three bathrooms, with sinks, showers and toilets that have plumbing and clean water. In South Sudan many are not that lucky.

Students ended the day with a short reflection where they discussed the way that the walk changed their minds about where they live and how lucky they are. The overall experience was definitely one students will remember and take into consideration the next time we brush our teeth, take a shower, flush the toilet, and get a drink of water.