UMW News BureauStudents from Montana Western raised over $700 dollars for a clean water well project in Kenya, Africa By Wally Feldt When students at the University of Montana Western learned that 4,500 people die each day because they do not have access to clean water, they decided to make a difference. The Montana Western Residence Life staff and the Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship teamed up for the Water Project Challenge. The Water Project, Inc., organized in 2006, is a non-profit organization bringing relief to communities around the world who suffer needlessly from a lack of access to clean water. The students started the project to create awareness that Americans live in abundance while many around the world live in need to raise money to build a clean water well in Kenya, Africa. The Resident Assistants (R.A.s) held meetings for each floor of the residence halls to share information about the global water crisis emphasizing the fact that nearly one billion people around the world do not have access to clean water. The project itself challenges students to drink only tap water for one week and divert all money normally spent on coffee, soda and other beverages to build a clean water well in a Third World country. Through their creative partnership, the R.A.s and Chi Alpha students brought daily reminders of the Water Project Challenge to Montana Western students with events like blind taste testings of water. In one week, Montana Western students raised $703.20. That money will be used to help fund a water well project in Western Kenya. They were the first Water Project Challenge group in the nation to complete a project for the 2009-2010 year. “It was amazing to see the turn-out of residents cooperating with the R.A.s,” Desi Seal, a UMW junior from Lund, Nev. said. “Everyone was really glad to help make a difference and put a lot of heart into the project.” Click here to see the Montana Western students featured on the Water Project's website.