Fifty-five members of the TASIS community completed the 8th annual Walk for Water on the afternoon of May 5, raising awareness for the global water crisis by simulating what many people in the developing world must go through on a daily basis to secure clean water.
All participants carried a 10–20 kilogram bucket of water around a one-kilometer course on the TASIS campus, with all of the water recycled into the School's underground holding tank afterward. Forty-five students from all three TASIS divisions and 10 faculty members combined to walk a total of 106 kilometers. Particularly impressive contributions came from Fran Suarez Gallo ’21 (11 km), Giulio Rebuffo ’21 (10 km), the Nikoloff family (11 km), the Middle School Volleyball team (100 percent participation), and the High School Track & Field team (100 percent participation).
The Walk for Water is organized by the student-directed TASIS Service Learning Board, with Ella Abisi ’21 and Autumn Bachofen ’21 taking the lead this year. Originally inspired by Sarah Wyler ’13 in 2013, the annual event has now rallied more than 750 participants and raised more than CHF 9000 for clean water initiatives in Nepal, Kenya, and India—countries where the GSP continues to send students.
“Water scarcity is a pressing issue that impacts countries across the globe—not just developing nations,” said GSP Director Danny Schiff, who has led the GSP since 2018. “A big component of the Global Service Program is to develop as much empathy and support as possible for our partners around the world, and this has been especially important over the past year with the pandemic limiting our ability to go on our usual service trips.”
Opsahl Global Service Program
The Opsahl Global Service Program was envisioned by Jan Opsahl ’68, who became the first international student at TASIS when he came from Norway in 1965. The pioneering program was launched in 2013 with major support from a most generous donation from Mr. Opsahl and his family to set up the Global Service Trust. This Trust, along with support from the TASIS Foundation, make this incredible, life-changing experience for our students possible.
The Opsahl Global Service Program, which was directed by Zach Mulert through the spring of 2018 and is now led by Danny Schiff, transforms lives by providing every High School student a unique opportunity to connect across borders through comprehensive experiences that build empathy and encourage personal responsibility. Participation in the program—which is designed to awaken students to humanitarian needs, inspire them to build enduring, mutually beneficial relationships, and lead them toward a life of active citizenship and committed service—is a graduation requirement.