Water of life

From left: Mark Magnus ’12, Eric Stachura ’12, Lin Mu ’12

This summer a trio of Denison students spent a month living with families in rural China. They hosted clean-water workshops, gave books about the subject to the local library, and donated special water buckets and disinfectants to the residents and schools. And in doing so they gave an entire village the means to a healthier life.

It all started last fall, when Mark Magnus ’12 (Lake Forest, Ill.), Lin Mu ’12 (Changchun City, China), and Eric Stachura ’12 (Perrysburg, Ohio) won a $10,000 grant from the Davis Projects for Peace, a global initiative for college students to design grassroots projects that make a difference in the world.

The three biology majors created their project around one of their biggest assets – Mu’s knowledge of China. They researched and realized that availability of clean drinking water was a real issue in many areas of rural China. Towns and villages in these arid regions collect rainwater in underground cisterns and boil it before use, but the water’s heavy mineral content ruins much of their equipment.

Magnus, Mu and Stachura focused their attention on Gaojiagou Town, located in western China, with a population of about 10,000 people. They enlisted the help of Brendan Sullivan ’11 (Cincinnati) along with an expert in the field of public health from Lanzhou Military Command Center for Disease Control and Prevention. And with local connections in place, their plan for a month-long visit was implemented.

This video gives a feet-on-the ground view of the trio’s Chinese odyssey:

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