H2O For Life provides a service learning opportunity to schools to raise awareness and take action in the global water crisis.
Patty Hall says that it was never her intention to be a nonprofit leader. She has always been passionate about education. Even as a child, she knew that she wanted to be a teacher. Patty journey to social entrepreneurship began with her mother. “My mom was a huge Tarzan buff when I was a child,” she explains. Her mother had always wanted to visit Africa but had never found the time. After Patty’s father passed away, Patty decided to take her mother on the trip of her dreams. She and her mother traveled to Kenya.
Patty’s mom struck up a conversation with a local man. The man invited them to come to his village 20 miles away. After spending the day with local families, Patty’s mom told her that she would like to return, but not as a tourist. She wanted to get to know the local people.
About a year later, Patty and her mom returned. Instead of touring, they worked to build a health center. On this trip, Patty noticed the amount of time spent by women and girls in fetching water. It seemed evident that these small villages were in desperate need of a water system.
After several more trips to Kenya, Patty received an email from a person she had met on her visits. He was asking for help to tackle their village’s critical water shortage.
Patty worked through the school where she taught. She started fundraising to help build a water system for the village in need. Their first project raised over $13,000 and provided the community with two sand dams that allowed them to gain access to clean water. “I was so overwhelmed to see how grateful his community was to have access to water,” says Patty. She also saw the impact that the project had on the students. “That was when it hit me how critical is for youth to see that their actions have an impact.”
She soon found additional projects within Africa that needed funding and matched more local schools to these causes. It was at this point that H2O for Life was born. H2O for Life helps match schools in the US with schools in Africa. Through this experience, students learn about the global water crisis. According to Patty, “We are hoping that when people think of the water crisis and they realize the magnitude of the problem, that they can solve the problem. H2O for Life has the solutions, and they need your help to do it.”
The goal of H2O for Life is to educate, inspire, and engage students to take action to provide water and sanitation to those in need. Students also learn about how they can conserve water resources in their communities.
H2O for Life will be hosting their annual Water Ball September 22nd. You can register here to help celebrate ten years of providing water, sanitation, and hygiene education to children around the world.
Also, join them for their Walk for Water event happening October 7th at the University of Minnesota campus. More details can be seen here for this event.
Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Patty Hall
“I was a teacher for over 30 years.”
“I was so overwhelmed to see how grateful his community was to have access to water.”
“Having access to water and sanitation at school really changes the lives of girls.”
“Really seek advice when you are questioning a problem.”
“It’s school-to-school partnerships.”
Social Entrepreneurship Resources:
- H2O for Life: https://www.h2oforlifeschools.org/
- H2O for Life on Twitter: https://twitter.com/h2oschools
- H2O for Life on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/h2oforlife
- H2O for Life on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/h2oforlife
- Book: Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs: https://tonyloyd.com/book