Students come to the aid of villagers
A small village in India is enjoying easy access to clean water thanks to the help of a New Zealand youth delegation.
Thirteen representatives from the P3 Foundation recently returned from Kalimpong in North East India where they officially marked the opening of a water tank in the village of Gairi Gaon.
The P3 Foundation, in conjunction with the Glenn Family Foundation, has been working to improve living conditions of impoverished residents for the last two years.
Delegation leader Bex Silver, 22, says the water pump makes a huge difference to the daily lives of the villagers.
‘‘Before, people were hav- ing to walk uphill to a stream to gather water, and to go to the toilet, so that water was getting contaminated and people were getting sick.’’
The new set-up also allows the villagers to be less reliant on weather patterns which vary between hot, dry weather and monsoon season.
‘‘Now they can have clean water all year round,’’ she says.
Water related problems are common throughout the wider region and is one of the main areas of focus for the Glenn Family Foundation’s developmental work.
The P3 Foundation has donated more than $70,000 which has contributed to the development of health, sanitation and education services in Kalimpong.
Ms Silver says the state of poverty in the small village is saddening.
Many children survive on just one meal a day and in some cases children are sold to work for other families.
Ms Silver read about the conditions while studying for her masters in international development, but being there was eye-opening.
‘‘The raw emotion of the people was overwhelming. They were so grateful and humble for what we did. In New Zealand we live in such abundance and these people are so grateful for what little they have.’’
The two foundations also helped the establishment of the local school – adding a toilet and running water.
Helping hands: Bex Silver, left, and Shruthi Vijayakumar from P3 Foundation open a new water tank in Gairi Gaon, India.