Making Waves

The event of the season begins to take shape


courtesy of Project Water

Sign-ups for the dodgeball tournament are going on now.

Nisha Rao

With the approach of spring comes the annual Project Water Dodgeball Tournament at NASH and NAI.  As the two schools prepare for a day of competitive fun, it can be too easy to overlook the true purpose of the event.

“Project Water is obviously focused on one goal of service, but it simultaneously creates opportunity to bond with others over a topic that is extremely personal and heartfelt,” said Ellie Rapp, a member of the Project Water team. “Everyone in Project Water has a great work ethic and settles only for excellence, so the environment made by the staff is especially inviting.”

Of all the resources on Earth, one presents itself as perhaps the most necessary: water. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, we require water to drink, bathe, and survive.

For all of us here at North Allegheny, water is taken for granted — no matter where we are, we’ll have access to it. As much as students complain about the quality of the water fountains, we ultimately do have access to water that is treated and clean. But for many students across the world, it’s a different story.

For the villagers in Kyenjojo, Uganda, water extends far beyond its traditional uses. If no wells are readily available, many people have to walk the distance between NASH and the city of Pittsburgh. Daily routines revolve around this search for water, rather than education or work, leading to stagnation in development and a decrease in quality of life.

Over the past five years, North Allegheny has tackled the problem of water shortages through the annual Project Water Dodgeball Tournament, started by Joshua Thomas in 2014, to help provide access to clean water in developing African villages. Over the past five years, the North Allegheny community has raised over $60,000, which has been used to build water harvesting systems for schools that will preserve rainfall and allow students to focus on learning, septic tanks for medical centers that improve sanitation, clean water wells that improve access for villagers, and homes to protect the sick and elderly.

“Through my four years at Project Water, I have been amazed to see the growth in participation and enthusiasm for the tournament, but also in the support for the passion of our mission,” said team leader Luke Turkovich.

This year’s Project Water tournament will take place all day on April 18, the last day before Spring Break. Students can choose teams of 6 or 7 (if you want a sub/coach), at the cost of $30 per student. Between rounds of dodgeball, students will have the opportunity to take part in Project Water’s Global Experience, which connects students with those who benefit from the money raised. Through these activities, students see what life is like for villagers in these regions by carrying water and finding food.

Register for the tournament here, and check out last year’s slideshow!