[grow] It Takes a Village
grow — Wisconsin’s Magazine for the Life Sciences — Summer 2011
Waves of undergrads in Uganda with UW-Madison’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have taken the African proverb as a call to action. Their engagement has included founding a nonprofit and choosing careers in which they serve communities at home and abroad.
IT WAS A SHORT WALK FROM the village of Biwolobo, deep in the Ugandan countryside, to the pool where villagers got water for drinking, cooking and bathing. But the trip, a mere daily errand for locals, would have profound consequences for the CALS study abroad students who accompanied them.
After a few minutes they arrived at the narrow pool, which was set in a rock with steep walls on three sides. Slippery dirt stairs led down to the water’s edge. The water was brown and murky, with scum and bits of garbage floating on it. In a country where few people know how to swim, the pool invited tragedy. In the past month alone, two children had drowned while fetching water, then-student Jenna Klink BS’07 recalls learning.