Students at St. Boniface school in Maryhill were out Tuesday for the We Walk for Water fundraiser – as part of the event, students were tasked with carrying heavy jugs of water to represent the struggle for many in the developing world. [Faisal Ali / The Observer]

The students at Linwood Public School and St. Boniface Catholic School were out in force this week to participate in the global We Walk for Water fundraiser. Hitting the tracks and the trails, the students walked in an effort to raise money for providing clean drinking water for those in need.

The fundraisers were part of the schools’ student-run We Teams, which runs several initiatives and charities throughout the year. In both Linwood and Maryhill, the students challenged themselves and their peers to raise money for the cause.

“So our goal was $450, and we actually doubled it and raised $1,065,” said Travis Brubacher, a member of the Linwood We Team.

Over at St. Boniface, which had its walk on Tuesday, the total raised was still being tallied up by publication time, but the school of 150 had already been able to bring in more than $600.

According to the global We organization, which supports the independent We Teams, it costs as little as $25 to provide a single person with potable water for life. Yet for many, the act of getting clean water is an arduous task assigned to children and, in particular, women. To symbolize the difficulty, students participating in the walk were tasked with carrying jugs of water.

“What shocked me is that it’s not that they just have to walk once a day, [but] they have to walk three or four times a day, and it can be a seven hour walk their and back,” said Brubacher. “So they’re spending pretty much all day walking.”

“It’s not just the issue of getting clean water for their family, it’s the issue of time because it does take time to get the water and that sacrifices kids’ ability to go to school. A lot of girls can’t go to school because they’re carrying water,” noted Evelyn Jewitt-Dyck.

“Or a parent can’t have a job and make money for their family because they have to go walk to get water all day, so they don’t have time to work,” she added.

Over the year, students in the school We Teams participate in a number of fundraising events over the year. Under the We organization’s model, teams typically alternate in focus between international fundraisers, like We Walk for Water, and local initiatives such as the Toasty Toes sock drive and Christmas present drives.