WORLD WATER DAY is Tuesday March 22nd!

I want to know what your youth group will do to celebrate the BIOLOGICAL WONDER that keeps all of creation living!

If you’re a little low on ideas. It’s okay. I know you’ve got the “and other duties as assigned” part of your youth leader job description pressing into you on this lovely Monday afternoon.

I’ll do the work for you! Here are 7 Ways you and your youth group, small group, family, or fill-in-the-blank group can do to join the world in a focus on international water issues.

Working to alleviate poverty and hunger, creating sustainable development, championing environmental integrity, and promoting human health can feel like really BIG  and DAUNTING responsibilities to a teenager.

So, why not give them a chance to make a smaller and JUST AS SIGNIFICANT contribution?

Here are 7 Ways You Can Celebrate World Water Day, and a link to a kit for anyone wanting to go on a deeper journey.

If you really want to go BIG, you can hold a Just Water Weekend together and raise funds to provide a clean water program in a village in Sri Lanka. Here’s the link to do that: www.justicemovement.com/justwater

number 1: DO A GROUP WATER CHALLENGE

  • Prepare envelopes and cards for people in your group.
  • Mark the cards with the numbers 7, 40, and 365. (Half of the cards should be a 7-day challenge, a quarter should be a 40-day challenge, and a quarter should be a 365-day challenge.)
  • Place the cards in unmarked envelopes.
  • Tell your team if they choose to accept the Just Water Challenge, then they will open the envelope and continue drinking ONLY water for the number of days listed on the card. It’s a decision entirely up to them, but if they decide to open it, then they are making an awesome commitment to be an advocate for the amount of time on the card.
  • Mark the mid-point dates and ending dates on your calendar (counting from your chosen start date) and write down the names of students who are taking the challenge for each amount of time. Encourage them often as they are talking about water, sharing with others, and making a significant sacrifice to help others. It’s also an awesome lesson on scarcity and practice of solidarity.
  • 7 days from your event is: _________________
  • 40 days from your event is: ________________
  • 365 days from your event is: _______________
  • Mark these dates on your calendar and keep track of what students are doing the challenge and for how many days.

*During Just Water Weekend and during a Just Water Challenge it is advised that a participant only drink water as needed for hydration. Water should replace normal drinking habits. Water drinking contests of any kind are NOT advised. While rare and isolated, drinking too much water (gallons and gallons over a short period of time) can be dangerous.

number two: TRY SODIS (WATER DISINFECTION)

When nearly a billion people drink highly polluted water, simple solutions are necessary. Treating water by putting it in 2 liter cola bottles and setting it in the sun on a black surface for 5 hours kills 99% of pathogens. Disinfect water together using the Sodis method. Gather water from a local source. http://www.cdc.gov/safewater/pdf/solar2011final.pdf

number three: BUILD IT: TIPPY TAP

Google “Tippy Tap CONSTRUCTION” and choose a method that your group is able to accomplish. Build a Tippy Tap structure together and learn about hand washing solutions when plumbing isn’t available.

number four: PLAY “EW” TAG

Teach students about the habit of handwashing by playing a giant game of “EW-tag”. This game can also be used to teach children at an event or at a school.

Communication Tools: You’ll need signs for water, soap, and dirt.

It could be fun to use costumes for each person in the game. Mark boundaries, explain the game, hand out stickers, have fun.

Every student in your group becomes one of four things: WATER, SOAP, MUD, or CLEAN. If a clean person is tagged by a mud girl or guy, they have to chase and tap a water girl or guy and a soap girl or guy to stay in the game!

number five: SEND TOILET TEXTS (IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK)- PRAYER PROMPT

Fact: In our world, there are more people who own phones than there are people who have a toilet.

If participants in your group have cell phones, have them set an alarm every hour during the weekend reminding them to stop and pray for those who don’t have access to clean water, latrines/ toilets, and hand-washing. Challenge them to keep a once-a-day alarm after the event.

Sample prayer:

God, help us to see how much we have and how much we have to share. Hear our prayer that more kids and families would have access to basic things like clean water and toilets. Open my eyes to see how I can help others find the things they need.

number six: WRITE TO RIGHT (WRITE IT DOWN) – POETRY, PROSE, SONG

Provide students with paper to write a poem, essay, or song about clean water in our world. Share them with each other, with a local church, with your community. Illustrate or create art that reflects the voices of the students participating.

number seven: TEACH IT: HANDWASHING 101

Here’s a little tidbit for our USA readers. Studies support while 92% of Americans believe it’s better to wash your hands after using the bathroom, only about 66% actually do! Whoa. Here’s a read that will help you see the gravity of knowing how and why to wash your hands! I love teaching this stuff to teenagers. It’s truly life changing information.

Create a set of hand washing instructions using your own artistic abilities using these ideas:

As simple as it may seem, learning the basics of hand-washing can help students feel more confident being a storyteller about it. It will also help them teach others about this important practice.

  • Wash your hands…
    • Before, during, and after preparing food
    • Before eating food
    • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
    • Before and after treating a cut or wound
    • After using the toilet
    • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet

• After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing (thank you) • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
• After touching garbage

  • Wash your hands…
  • Wet your hands with clean water and apply soap.
  • Make bubbles (lather the soap) by rubbing your hands together with the soap. Hit the 4 Hand
  • Zones: backs, fronts, between fingers, and under nails.
  • Scrub for 20 seconds. Pick a 20 second song and sing it. (Jesus Loves Me)
  • Rinse your hands well with clean water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. (Sometimes running around with your hands in the air can be fun.)

Everything you see here (and MORE) can be found in the Just Water Weekend Kit. Use it as you wish!

We love you youth ministry nation.

Happy World Water Day!

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