Seeing a lot of people show up to support the great cause of USI’s Lug-a-Jug event on an early Saturday morning was a pleasant surprise, it showed that a lot of people care.
I believe that making people empathize is one of the most effective ways to raising awareness on issues like this. Here’s the main reason I was very pleased with the event format and USI’s mission overall: At some point down the road, I want to work at the United Nations Office in Nairobi, Kenya because I can be more effective and practical once I’m on the grounds where I would closely observe the culture and see what people are actually going through. Similarly, USI is represented in various locations in Africa and the Lug-a-Jug event was a great way to convey the message of what they’ve been facing & how we as current residents of the Triangle Area, could help provide what the people really need. For some, it’d be easy to just donate the $20 and not even show up to the event, but seeing how much it takes out of you to walk the 3K with empty 5-gallon jugs and making your way back with that precious water makes you appreciate something you take for granted every single day. That mindset is the difference-maker in making people volunteer & donate more down the road, and spread the word.
A lot of people, including myself, were exhausted by the end of the event and one thing should be clear: even though the solar panels are a great start & will indeed make people’s life easier in Africa, it still isn’t the solution. Not having to manually pump water from wells is going to save time and energy but they still have to walk long distances to have access to the most basic need of mankind. Thus, we need to keep spreading the word and get to work. 319 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa don’t have access to reliable drinking water sources and even 620 million people live without electricity. For people who want to get involved to any extent, there are a lot of opportunities to volunteer, donate or invest.
I want to thank USI for their efforts in such an important cause. Let’s aim even higher!
Article by: Serkan Erdem