Addressing refugees' need for drinking water

By Olympia Shivdasani

Since graduating from the Global Studies program at Eugene Lang last year I have been working for the social enterprise Whole World Water. During my time at The New School the most pertinent feature I took away was the complex interplay between the global and the local in our increasingly connected world. This concept was specifically reflected in my last year as the refugee crisis emerged as a critical challenge. Due to the contentious climate surrounding refugees and growing anti-immigrant populism in the wake of growing displacement, the need for civic action and NGO’s has never been more important.In the wake of growing refugee populations Whole World Water has turned its attention to provisioning water to refugee camps. Among others, Whole World Water will implement closed system innovative water systems in Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar, where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled in recent months, as well as Mali, Chad, Ethiopia, and Iraq. June 20th is World Refugee Day. Under the current administration, the altruistic nature and values of Americans have been suppressed in the rhetoric and actions of government. Despite the current political climate, we must not forget we are all refugees, we are all immigrants. The basic tenets of the US Constitution clearly convey our stance, ‘No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.’ Diversity and cross-cultural exchange are what have made America as well as every other country great.  We hope that you will come and join us in Washington Square to support refugees and their rights.

Olympia Shivdasani is a New School graduate who majored in the Global Studies program at Lang. Since graduating she has worked with educational and human rights focused NGO's, intersecting with the promotion of gender equality and environmental sustainability.