A record 137 TASIS students, faculty, staff, and community members completed the 6th annual Walk for Water on the afternoon of April 25, raising CHF 1386 for clean water initiatives carried out by Gram Vikas, a TASIS Global Service Program partner that has been working with the people of Orissa, India, for nearly 40 years with the aim of building an equitable and sustainable society where people live in peace with dignity.
Hosted on the TASIS campus by Service Learning Board members Asia Roveda ’18, Angelina Not ’18, and Cecilia Long ’19, the Walk for Water aims to simulate what many people in the developing world must go through daily to secure clean water by asking participants to carry a 10–20 kilogram bucket of water around a one-kilometer course. Conceived by Sarah Wyler ’13 in 2013, the annual event has now mobilized more than 650 participants and raised more than CHF 8000 for clean water initiatives in Nepal, Kenya, and India—countries where the Global Service Program continues to send students.
“This event is important because we all take our access to clean water for granted,” said Roveda, who has served on the student-directed Service Learning Board for the past three years. “Even though this walk is much shorter than what most people in the developing world need to go through to get water, we still feel tired when we finish. It’s a valuable project that really helps us put things in perspective.”
With help from the Service Learning Board, Global Service Program Director Zach Mulert encouraged students of all ages and their family members to complete this year’s walk, and he also asked the community to consider donating up to CHF 1 for every participant. Both he and Roveda are impressed by how the TASIS community continues to rally around this meaningful cause.
“What was different about this year is that we had a lot more participation across the board, including many Middle School and Elementary School students,” said Roveda. “A lot of them even did more than the two laps required to complete the course.”
“I take such joy watching the event grow year after year, and it was particularly heart-warming this year to see so many of our Middle School students participate,” added Mr. Mulert. “Some of them insisted on walking 3 km with two buckets in their hands just to truly experience what other children their age may go through in real life. While access to clean water remains a global concern, it’s exciting to see that TASIS remains committed to doing its part year after year.”
See more excellent photos from School Photographer Kim Nelson and Mislav Ilijas ’20 on the TASIS SmugMug page.
TASIS Opsahl Global Service Program
The Opsahl Global Service Program was envisioned by Jan Opsahl ’68, who became the first international student at TASIS when he came from Norway in 1965. The pioneering program was launched in 2013 with major support from a most generous donation from Mr. Opsahl and his family to set up the Global Service Trust. This Trust, along with support from the TASIS Foundation, make this incredible, life-changing experience for our students possible.
The Opsahl Global Service Program, which has been directed by Zach Mulert since its inception, transforms lives by providing every High School student a unique opportunity to connect across borders through comprehensive experiences that build empathy and encourage personal responsibility. Participation in the program—which is designed to awaken students to humanitarian needs, inspire them to build enduring, mutually beneficial relationships, and lead them toward a life of active citizenship and committed service—is a graduation requirement.