World Water Day 2012 tour, destination #3: Respect, Compassion and Kindness in Bringing Water

This is part 3 (and final installment) of my World Water Day 2012 tour in Ventura County, California.  You can read part  1 here and part 2 here.
Performing Arts Center at Montessori School of Ojai
Transformation and potential

When I arrived at the Montessori School of Ojai on World Water Day, I immediately felt at home.  A beautiful setting with campus buildings, playgrounds, animal homes and school gardens nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains and hills, the staff and students obviously enjoyed a relationship of respect with each other and with nature.  I could see that this was a place where kids were allowed to be themselves and explore, while learning the skills and lessons necessary to empower them to make a difference in the world.

Compassion and continuity
I set up for two presentations in the school's arts center building.  The round yurt provided a wonderful setting and a meaningful symbol for the circle of compassion, continuity and collaboration our Wells of Love program stands for.  

First, I spoke with the youngest students, ages 3 through 6.  I shared our photos, talking to them about water.  It was easy for them to relate to their peers in Africa's need because this essential element is so common and apparent in their own lives.  

Movement beneath mountains
Next I spoke with a smaller group of upper elementary students and middle school students.  By their questions, I knew that these students were already engaged as reflective thinkers and empowered as global citizens.  Indeed, MSO participates yearly in the Montessori Model UN program.   Since they'd been learning about the Azawak for several years, participated in our Friendship Exchange in 2009 and held fundraising initiatives at their school, they were eager to hear about Amman Imman's new borehole and progress among the people in our borehole villages.  At the end of the program, we spend a lot of time on discussing their questions.    

Afterwards we took a walk for water around the athletic field. Some of the students carried jugs in symbolic support of children who are tasked with a daily search for water to survive.  
Gardens and growth

Here's a post from the MSO Facebook page about our World Water Day presentation and their pledge to continue raising funds for the Azawak:

Animal friends
Today Debra Kahn, Associate Director of Amman Imman and Program Director of the organization's service-learning component: Water is Life and Wells of Love, gave an amazing presentation for the students of MSO about water and life in the Azawak Valley of West Africa, a place where half a million people have no water for ten months out of the year.

Amman Imman is dedicated to improving and saving lives among the poorest and most abandoned populations of the world by drilling permanent sources of water, currently for the inhabitants of the Azawak Valley.

A few years ago, along with other Montessori schools around the world, we participated in the Montessori Wells of Love program, collecting change to donate for the drilling of a borehole well. We are happy to announce that MSO is participating again this year. Please feel free to send change or bills for your child to drop in one of the painted, five-gallon water bottles on campus - and together we can make a difference for the resilient people of the Azawak, giving them a chance to live without the indignity of daily thirst and the fear of water-borne illness.

I was especially moved when Cyrus, a middle school student, came to tell me how much he enjoyed the presentation and appreciated being able to help Amman Imman.  For me, this thoughtful young man, expressing his compassion and caring as I wrapped up my World Water Day tour, represented why I made the journey to California, and why we connect kids around the world - it's more than the extremely important mission of saving lives by providing the water, but also paving the way for the precious resource of kindness to be shared and expressed.
Wells of Love and collecting change to make a difference for the Azawak

1 comment:

  1. I believe that the water in america is a slow death. We should all be working on that also. water treatment plant


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