Berkeley High School’s (BHS) Water for People is a first-year club seeking to help fight the global water crisis. It was founded after juniors Sophie Emayan and Eliana Tertes traveled to the Dominican Republic last year to help build aqueducts that would provide clean drinking water to communities who need it. They realized that no clubs at BHS were addressing this issue so they decided to create their own.
The club is affiliated with an organization called Water for People. According to Co-President Tertes, Water for People “works to provide sanitary and accessible water for underserved communities around the world and nine developing countries.”
Tertes explained that the club fundraises for Water for People, and tries “to educate our club members on the water crisis.”
The activities taking place at each meeting can vary, from artistic endeavors, such as creating bracelets or posters, to learning more about the water crisis. “We often have a ‘fun fact’ or story about a current project or issue Water for People is working on. Sometimes, to keep our club members engaged and having fun, we’ll do community bonding, such as games or field trips to other school events happening at lunch time,” said Tertes.
Tertes explained that they have struggled at times with keeping the meetings interesting to members. “A lot of the time we want to educate everyone but we don’t want it to be like a lecture or too much like school,” she said. Co-president Lucia Freedberg agreed with this, adding that they are constantly looking to find more interesting activities to do.
Being a first-year club, some logistics are still being worked out. Freedberg said it is hard “establishing what we’re doing and what our goals are and having people we reach out to. I think every element of the club [is] just a little bit more difficult to organize the first year.”
As for future goals, along with making the meetings more interactive, Freedberg and Tertes want to host a presenter from a local organization, and to raise a significant amount of money for the organization. Tertes said, “One of our main goals is to be in touch with the Water for People in San Francisco.”
Next year, the co-presidents hope to increase the diversity of the club as well. Tertes explained, “Currently, our club members are mostly junior girls. I think that expanding the types of people we attract to our club is a major goal of ours, one that more accurately represents BHS as a whole.”