Wisconsin News

Students Making a Difference: Water for Africa

WEST SALEM, Wis. - Clean water is something most of take for granted, but the reality is there are people dying everyday because they don't have it.

West Salem senior Kaytlyn Larson made it her mission to help change that with her senior project this year.

In between her many volunteer activities, which are really too many to name all of them, Kaytlyn put together two events to help raise money for her project which she called "Water for Africa."

The first was a raffle where Kaytlyn sold 500 tickets in her own small community and got businesses to donate many of the raffle items.

And the second was a show choir camp, where she taught 45 elementary students how to sing and dance after school. The students even got to open up for a performance by the Wisconsin Singers.

Both events raised about $3,500 combined and will go towards building a well in Uganda, Africa. "I do think I'm making a difference.  I'm not only educating people in our town, but I'm helping out people thousands of miles away and I know they're going to be very grateful of what I've done and what I'm giving to them," said Kaytlyn.


She's partnering with the "Remembering Jesse Parker" charity.

Jesse was a Tomah High School student whose passion it was to bring clean water around the world before he died tragically in a car crash in 2009.

Jesse's mom says Kaytlyn's efforts will go a long way to helping those that need it most. "Kaytlyn herself has funded a well because of the ways the dollars can be multiplied so she has funded a well for her own village, which will actually provide clean water for likely 1500 students and people in that community," said Jen Parker.

And the good news is, the well and all the others the charity is helping to fund in Africa will go near schools. That will allow young girls to get an education since they are primarily the ones responsible for spending 3-5 hours a day collecting water right now. Because of that, they're not allowed to go to school.

Kaytlyn is hoping to visit Uganda sometime next year to meet some of the people she's helping.

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