The university’s Enactus program donated its time to help 1,000 people access clean water
Above Photo: Students at the University of La Verne assembled solar water packs earlier this month to be distributed to families in Cambodia as a clean water source.
La Verne, CA., – Students at the University of La Verne who participate in Enactus, a community empowerment club, donated their time to assemble 100 solar water packs on Nov. 3 to distribute to the Tonlé Sap region of Cambodia, as many families lack access to clean water.
Enactus — established in 2006 at the University of La Verne — is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world.
Members of the program partnered with Solar Solutions in San Diego to build AquaPaks — solar water pasteurizers designed to kill bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms by converting sunlight into thermal energy. According to a 2014 UNICEF report, approximately 6.3 million people in Cambodia do not have adequate access to clean drinking water.
Kristine Keo, a junior international business student, was proud to be a part of the team helping her home country.
“I took part in a solution that will hopefully address an issue that my country has faced for many years,” Keo said. “This simple act can help reduce the fatality rate from drinking unclean water in Cambodia.”
According to UNICEF, 10,000 people die annually in Cambodia due to unclean water and a lack of sanitation knowledge.
The AquaPak is lightweight and portable. It can purify up to 10 liters per day and provides both safe water and a storage container. There is no need for fuel or electricity. It works best in tropical and warm climates in order for the pasteurization process to take effect, which is ideal for Cambodia.
Dr. Issam Ghazzawi, professor of management and Enactus advisor, said the experience was awe-inspiring for many of the students looking to make an impact in their community and abroad.
For Robert LP Buono, a senior business administration major, the experience taught him that making a difference doesn’t have to take hours, as long as you think outside the box.
“If we are willing to put out our hands and help others, we can make an impact,” Buono said.
The Enactus program is open to all students. Past projects include the donation of business attire for graduate students in the Philippines, empowering a local family in Mexico, and educating local students about healthy living.