WALKING FOR WATER: students provide clean water for Madagascar

Lindsy Tkach (left) and Candace Braaten (right) of Dahlia Salon led students at Warman Community Middle School on a six kilometre walk in support of WaterAid with the help of Saskatchewan Aveda representative, Celeste deMesa

Students in Warman recently showed they care a lot about providing clean water for people in Madagascar. Through the Dahlia Salon in Martensville, they heard about a WaterAid project and the whole student body at the Warman Community Middle School (WCMS) got behind it. They raised a total of $11,503.55.

In Madagascar, water is 97 per cent contaminated. Girls walk up to six kilometres a day to get water but it is far from clean or safe. About 700 students made the six kilometre walk in Warman on Friday, in solidarity with the girls in Madagascar.

“We’re working on a five-year project with Aveda to give Madagascar clean water. We’re trying to get them 100 per cent clean water,” said Lindsy Tkach, owner of Dahlia Salon.

Both Tkach and Candace Braaten, also from Dahlia, have children that attend the WCMS. “We decided we would team up with them this year and help raise awareness about what’s going on in Madagascar, and we invited them to raise funds for Wateraid ,” said Braaten.

Several local businesses also got on board. Little Caesar’s in Warman donated 150 pizzas which raised $2292.55. SuperValu donated 700 juice boxes which raised $3,000. Gum sales raised $443. Each classroom had their own goals for collecting funds for the project. Classroom collection raised $8,768.

Twenty five dollars buys one person in Madagascar clean water for life. “Through this project, 483 people in Madagascar now have clean water for the rest of their life,” said Tkach.

Celeste deMesa with Aveda Saskatchewan said Aveda’s partnership with WaterAid and salons is in its eleventh year. “This partnership is particularly good for us because we source three of our main ingredients – vanilla, cinnamon adn ylang ylang – directly from Madagascar, so we have a direct relationship with these people.”

WCMS students gather before the WaterAid walk

She says Dahlia puts in 120 per cent effort pitching in for this cause. It’s the second year Dahlia has been involved. “It’s been amazing to be working with them for the last couple of years.” Tkach says Dahlia has made a a five-year commitment to assist with WaterAid. “We have actually already exceeded our goal. We’re at about 40 per cent.

That has allowed the project to do greater things. “It has given us the ability to extend our reach to six extra villages in that surrounding community in Madagascar,” said Demesa. “We’ve got two extra health care facilities we’ve been able to help because we’ve exceeded our goal and because we have salons like Dahlia that have put in more than we ever expected.”

These women were inspired by seeing Warman kids out walking for WaterAid. Being involved in the project is especially rewarding. Providing clean water leads to better health and longer life and you can’t put a price on that.