Saturday, March 22, 2008

CCF at the Children's Museum of Richmond for World Water Day

By Stephanie Kulenguski, CCF Web Content Editor

The sound of children laughing echoed through the open lobby area of the Children’s Museum of Richmond today. Sunlight poured through the massive floor-to-ceiling windows and illuminated the water structure (made out of water jugs) precariously built to resemble a big whale and a small goldfish.

The goldfish and the whale symbolized how much water the average American uses (80 gallons a day) compared to what a Kenyan family uses (5 gallons a day).

Christian Children's Fund worked closely with the Children’s Museum of Richmond to create an activity to engage children in water issues around the world such as water scarcity, conserving water and what other children around the world have to go through to obtain water.

The Children’s Museum set up a table for us in their Art Studio, and we brought unused water jugs -- donated by Marva Maid and CCF staff -- to the museum for children to decorate in remembrance of World Water Day. We handed out pamphlets to parents with child-friendly activities and stories about water usage in Ecuador, Zambia and the Philippines. One mother asked her son, “Do we use water to grow plants?” The mother went on to talk about how they use water at home for brushing their teeth, filling up the bathtub and washing their hands. Another mother read her daughters, Kaitelyn and Rian, a short story from the World Water Day pamphlet while the girls decorated their jug.

Each child's water jug was unique -- some used paint, others used glue, fabric, markers and assorted materials donated to the museum. One child made sure his mother put his name on his water jug; it was easy to tell that they enjoyed this project and wanted ownership of their masterpieces.

CCF President and CEO, Anne Lynam Goddard, was present at the event. She interacted with the children in the Art Studio and answered media questions from the local NBC news crew that aired the story on the evening news.

About 450 children and parents came to the museum during the exhibit which lasted four hours. CCF’s message was heard loud and clear: clean water is important, not only for us here in the United States, but for people all over the world and we need to work together to find ways to ensure that clean, safe water is available for everyone, no matter where they live.

No comments: