Furman Global Issues Forum is an experimental student led initiative created to engage and involve the campus community in addressing the challenges of an increasingly globalized world. No longer can we deny our role in shaping the global community of which we are a major part. Instead, we must learn to see beyond our insulated University and recognize the immediacy of global crises future generations will face.
To this end, we will sponsor a different series of events each semester intended to raise awareness of one particular global issue; this semester, we have selected Global Water Issues as our focus. We have developed a series of lectures, discussions, and campus displays in order to explore the role of Furman students in influencing our increasingly interdependent world.
According to the World Health Organization and Water.org:
- Almost 1 billion people in the world lack access to safe water;
- Half of the world’s hospitalizations are due to water-related diseases;
- Over 3.5 million people die each year from water-related diseases, over 80 percent of which are children; and
- In just one day, more than 200 million hours of women’s time is spent on collecting and carrying water.
Because water is so connected to a host of other important sustainability themes such as poverty, disease, hunger, corporate responsibility, economic competition, hydropower, water terrorism, and agriculture, the topic is of direct interest to many academic departments, student organizations, and other campus community members. We are hoping for enthusiastic participation in furthering this important student initiative to the benefit of our university and the wider community.
Most ambitiously, we hope to raise 12,500 dollars to fund a water purification system for a small village in Guatemala, Esperanza San Antonio. This money will match a grant we received earlier this year from the Duke Endowment Foundation in order to fully fund the operation. To do so, we will host a “Water Walk” on April 13th in which participants will simulate the experience of millions throughout the developing world by carrying gallons of water across the Furman campus. We cannot do this alone, and community participation in the walk will be crucial to its success. This blog is designed to provide updates on our progress planning for the walk as well as other upcoming events. Be sure to check back regularly for updates, and we look forward to seeing you at the walk.
If you are interested in supporting our efforts financially, please click here for a secure donation page.