Summer of 2020, fresh out of the pandemic lockdown, myself and three other female UKSD youth leaders from Massachusetts were asked to represent UKSD in a new project which would involve collaborating with young women from an organization in Nagpur, India called Slum Soccer. The means behind the project was unknown, and we started with just having regular group Zoom meetings to learn about one another.
As months went by, we began learning more about the differences in our cultures and the struggles we all endure as young females within our communities. We were then asked to create a project that would bring awareness to an issue that is relevant in both the United States and India. After six months of zoom calls, we finally decided that we wanted our project to be based around the world water crisis. This is a problem that is becoming more significant in today’s world and one that is very targeted towards young females. With this in mind, we created The Filter Fresh Project.
This project is a non-profit initiative that works towards purchasing water filtration systems for communities within the slums of Nagpur, India, many of which have inadequate access to clean water. Beyond this, we also wanted to tie the project back to the United States, so we created a social media platform on Instagram and regularly made posts about the water crisis and how it affects communities globally. Our hope was to both attempt to combat this issue while also raising awareness about it.
We implemented our first fundraising event the next summer which was called Miles4Money. This project asked local high school students to walk or run as many miles as possible throughout a week, with families, friends, and local businesses sponsoring each mile completed with monetary donations. After much hard work and many completed miles, we were able to raise over $3,000 for our project. We sent the funds directly to our partner organization, Slum Soccer. At the onset of the project, we knew that the funds raised would be allocated to our friends in Nagpur, India, so they would be able to purchase water filtration systems for women and families in local villages. Through our efforts, we raised enough money to provide 80 households with brand new water filtration systems, giving over 450 people access to clean water.
In the end, the benefits from this project went much deeper than just the creation of our new organization. We were able to build friendships with girls from across the globe and were given new perspectives on life from listening to their stories. We never anticipated this project to have such a large impact on so many people, and we are excited to see it continue to grow so we can help more communities around the world.
Sam Kersey & The Filter Fresh Team
The UKSD Blog