Educational Exhibit - World Water Day
The Sisters of Saint Francis at Assisi Heights in Rochester, Minnesota, have marked World Water Day by highlighting the issue of the human right to water within their community. Below is an account of their commendable efforts to bring attention to this crucial issue.
"In 1988, Sister Eleanor Granger, a member of the Franciscan Federation and our congregational president, introduced Franciscans International (FI) to the Sisters of Saint Francis at Assisi Heights in Rochester, Minnesota, and urged our participation. Five sisters paid membership dues and birthed the “Earth Cluster.” Today, seventeen Sisters actively participate in monthly meetings.
Presently we are working on these issues: 1) Legislative: Common Good, Bread for the World; 2) Human Rights: Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Human Trafficking; 3) Environmental and Rural Life: Land Stewardship, Keystone XL Pipeline, Farm Bill 2012; 4) Peacemaking: abolition of nuclear weapons, etc.
The United Nations’ World Water Day’s main theme in 2012 was Water and Food Security. The challenge of our Franciscans International Earth Cluster Group was illustrated by an educational display in Assisi Heights’ Community Center. We used colorful posters to show the criteria for the world’s healthiest foods and also the scandalous food wastage. 30% of the 350 billion tons of food produced in the United States is wasted annually. By decreasing the 30% to 25%, all the hungry people in the U.S. could be fed.
Hidden water usage for producing meats (especially beef), was graphically depicted by contrasting them with the production of fruits, vegetables and grains.
The world’s entire water supply became visible in one gallon of water. Six small jars of water using teaspoons of water showed fresh water (21 teaspoons of which 15 teaspoons are locked into polar ice caps or glaciers), ground water (5 teaspoons), rivers and lakes (1/3 teaspoon-20% in Great Lakes), and water vapor, (a drop).
Exciting reading materials heightened awareness of this important issue. We invited all who came to Assisi Heights to experience the World Water Day Display from March 11 through April 23, 2012."