On Saturday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., PNWU’s Global Health Club, in collaboration with OurGanda, will host “The Weight of Water” live on the PNWU campus. The free event aims to promote awareness about water disparities in Uganda — as well as other countries — and raise money to help provide western Ugandan villages with clean water.
“The Weight of Water” will feature a variety of fun and interactive games and challenges, including relay races and obstacle courses for adults and kids, raffles and prizes. Free coffee and pastries, as well as commemorative water bottles, will be available for participants, and food trucks will be on-site. In anticipation of the event, we joined Catherine Le, PNWU’s Global Health Club vice president, to discuss her interest in global health, her experiences with global health disparities, and the challenges currently facing countless people throughout the world.
What inspired your interest in global health?
I have always been interested in global health, particularly of those in impoverished countries. The health disparities around the world can range so widely from shortage of medical access to shortage of water, and I want to help diminish that disparity.
I love learning about other countries’ healthcare systems. I have studied abroad to India, Thailand, and recently visited Uganda, to specifically study the healthcare in those countries.
As a future healthcare provider, one of my main goals is to partner with local non-profit organizations in impoverished countries to help them utilize their resources in sustaining a higher quality of life. There are hundreds of healthcare issues among the impoverished countries and we could help reduce them, even if we started with one simple task, such as coming up with a solution for clean water in a village.
Why should people participate in “The Weight of Water” event?
It’s a wonderful cause!
The non-profit organization, Ourganda, is comprised of a team full of such selfless people that want to do nothing more than help others. They started this organization in Uganda as an orphanage many years ago, and have recently expanded to provide a mobile medical clinic to villages around the Bundibugyo district, where the nearest clinic facility can be more than 50 miles away.
Right now, the biggest need in the villages they serve is clean water. The Ugandan women are traveling on foot for more than 10 miles per day — everyday — to obtain water from a source that most likely is not clean. One of the villages I visited this past summer was collecting drinking water from a nearby ditch that collects water when it rains. The water was nowhere near transparent, and I couldn’t imagine drinking it myself.
The goal of this event is to raise awareness and money to build a water well near the villages so that people will have access to clean water.
Why are events like this so important for our university to participate in?
At PNWU, becoming a future physicians doesn’t just happen through books. We’re here to learn about resilience, compassion, and helping others, whomever and wherever they are, through experiences.
I think this event will help bring awareness and gratitude to our campus of the resources we are so fortunate to have.
What do you hope “The Weight of Water” accomplishes?
I just want to raise awareness of the lack of resources that people in impoverished countries face and struggle through every day of their lives.
We take the small things and necessities for granted every day, and I don’t think that many people realize it. I want people to leave this event more aware of the resources they have access to, and more mindful of their usage.