Two teenagers make a difference

KidzWhoCare provides drinking water

Life sustaining water was brought to 2000 schoolchildren and 75 teachers in a remote village near Ganemulla, western Sri Lanka, when KidzWhoCare, an organization founded by 15-year-old Kiyara Fernando and her sister 14-year-old Tasha Fernando of the Colombo International School, provided the village school with a clean water supply system.

The students of Jayakody Maha Vidyalaya will no longer have to risk their health by obtaining water from a worm infested source, after the fresh water well was installed with a pump, tank and taps by KidzWhoCare.

Learning of the fact that every three seconds a child dies due to water-related illnesses globally and that 18% of public schools in Sri Lanka lack water access, the teenagers were determined to make a change, no matter how small.

Several months of persistent hand painting and crafting several thousand cards, which they sold doorstep to doorstep to hotels, offices and homes to raise funds for their cause saw them on the road to achieving their goal.

KidzWhoCare co-founder, Kiyara Fernando said “the younger generations must take action, without waiting for adults to solve all problems. The water crisis is grave and will affect each and every one of us in some way. As John. F. Kennedy said, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

Brandix CSR Head, Anusha Alles, provided valuable advice to the two sisters, mentoring their project. KidzWhoCare forged an alliance with 15-year-old Akshan de Alwis of Nobles and Greenough High School in Boston, USA to communicate the importance of water as a human right internationally, especially to the youth, and to raise funds through the sale of cards and various fundraisers in Boston.

Tasha Fernando said, “I was driven to start KidzWhoCare with my sister after hearing about the daily preventable deaths of teenagers, like myself, due to the scarcity of clean drinking water. 84% of water-related deaths in the world are of children.”

Principal of Jayakody Maha Vidyalaya Ashoka Mahinda in thanking KidzWhoCare said that it was “an inspiration to all children and should be a role model for others to follow.”

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