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Zeta Tau Psi raises money for WATER TO THRIVE

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Zeta Tau Psi raises money for WATER TO THRIVE

Zeta Tau Psi brothers opening the fundraiser soccer tournament for Water to Thrive.

Zeta Tau Psi brothers opening the fundraiser soccer tournament for Water to Thrive.

Gibby Swalley (‘22) I Chips

Zeta Tau Psi brothers opening the fundraiser soccer tournament for Water to Thrive.

Gibby Swalley (‘22) I Chips

Gibby Swalley (‘22) I Chips

Zeta Tau Psi brothers opening the fundraiser soccer tournament for Water to Thrive.

Gibby Swalley, Staff Writer

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ZTP collaborates with Water to Thrive to support the building of wells in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Tanzania. 

The  Zeta Tau Psi  fraternity organized a soccer tournament for the nonprofit organization Water to Thrive, raising $200 total. People of all ages came together to compete in the Regents Main Gym on Saturday March 16.

The nonprofit works with partners and beneficiaries to bring clean, safe water to rural communities in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Tanzania.

The Water to Thrive fundraiser is part of a larger collaboration between Zeta Tau Psi,  the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement, the Center for Sustainable Communities, Educators for Social Justice, and the Decorah Middle School.

In the decade since Water to Thrive was founded, they have funded 1,000 wells. This fundraiser had the specific goal of building a well in Tanzania, in a community that Luther students visit over J-term every year.

Ismail Hamid (‘19) has been a part of Zeta Tau Psi for three years, and acts of service for the community and the world are very important to him.

“Zeta Tau Psi was founded in 2006 with the goal of giving back to the community and also with the goal of being a safe space for a diverse group of men to come and work together to become better men right here on campus,” Hamid said. “There are multiple fraternities, but not all of them are very diverse or very welcoming of people of different cultures, different backgrounds, or different belief systems.”

Hamid went on to state the importance of getting clean water for communities who have little access to water.

“In these communities you have mostly women and children who have to walk two to three hours every day to get clean water for drinking and other purposes.” Hamid said. “Water to Thrive believes that by going into these communities and building wells close to these communities, they’re essentially freeing these women and children to do other stuff such as getting an education or going into the workforce. So we thought that this was such a cool idea. We’re also competing with Wartburg who is also donating to Water to Thrive.”

The Decorah Middle School will host the  “Walk for Water” on April 28, which will be a walk from the school to the Upper Iowa River, emulating the journey that people must make every day in communities that do not have access to clean water or safe wells.

Zeta Tau Psi President Sam Kottke (‘20) was pleased with the results of the tournament.

“I feel like the tournament was a success in that we brought members of the Decorah and Luther community together for a good cause,” Kottke said.

Director of the CEPE and Associate Professor of History Victoria Christman  has faith in the NGO.

“Their efforts are so successful because they work in partnership with local communities, rather than just sweeping in from the U.S. and doing what we might think is needed,” Christman said. “Instead, they have teams on the ground in each country who work with local residents to assess need, make decisions, and then train the local people to build and maintain their own water sources.”

A series of events sponsored by the CEPE will be held this semester following the tournament. These events  include a lecture by Dr. Jim Hansen titled “Shape Your Future: Energy, Climate and Human Rights” on May 1; a performance by hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez on May 2, who in 2007 was, at age 6, the youngest person ever to address the United Nations; and a talk by Professor of Biology Jodi Enos-Berlage and Associate Professor of Biology Eric Baack on April 29 at the Decorah Public Library on their research into disease-causing microbes in our local water supply in Decorah.

Luther students can purchase Water To Thrive t-shirts and hats in the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement office in Olin 214. Proceeds will benefit Water To Thrive. t Water To Thrive.

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