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How a Group of Teenage Girls Is Tackling the Global Water Crisis
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How a Group of Teenage Girls Is Tackling the Global Water Crisis

You visited country X. You were impacted by global issue Y. And you returned home with fire in your gut determined to tackle that issue.

Then…life got in the way.

More often than not life DOES get in the way, but it didn’t get in the way for a group of Rustic gals who traveled to Tanzania on Culture and the Crater last summer. These students were struck by the lack of water in a village outside of Kigoma in northwest Tanzania. It was more than just how scarce it was, but the attitude surrounding water. Maji ni uhai, Swahili for water is life, is a phrase heard often in Tanzania.

Cate Brown, Maggie Cornwall, and Bailey Triggs headed home to their respective corners of the United States, where they worked together from a distance to spearhead their nonprofit Miles for Maji to raise awareness about the global water crisis.

Miles for Maji hosted three fundraising events in April 2018 that required participants to walk carrying buckets of water on their head to raise awareness of the realities ofkuchota maji, or fetching water.

Cate, Maggie, Bailey, and the other students from their Rustic trip involved with Miles for Maji were struck by how difficult it was just to get water in rural Tanzania. Young girls and women walk 15 minutes to and from a local river carrying 40-pound buckets on their heads several times a day to supply water for their families.

All proceeds from the events this weekend will go to Save the Rain, an organization that builds stormwater catchment systems on homes and schools to collect clean rainwater in Tanzanian villages. Miles for Maji is hoping to raise enough money to provide clean water for the village of Makiba, home to 1,100 students who spend up to six hours a day fetching water.

“Through Save the Rain, we learned how access to clean water affects education, poverty, health, and gender inequality,” Miles for Maji wrote on its website.

Visit Miles for Maji’s website to learn more about how to get involved in an effort to raise awareness about the global water crisis.


Inspired? Check out our Critical Issues programs, designed for motivated students who want to explore some of the most significant challenges facing our world and learn how to take action.

About the Author

Rachel Levin

Brand Engagement Manager

Rachel joined Rustic in 2013 and led programs for three summers in Costa Rica, Peru, and Ghana. She’s also led programs in Fiji and Tanzania. A graduate of the University of Vermont with degrees in sociology and Spanish, Rachel focuses her love for travel, writing, and her unquenchable curiosity of our natural world as Rustic’s Brand Engagement Manager. Based in Tahoe, CA, Rachel is a talented ceramicist and lover of the outdoors.