“This (the water crisis faced by some schools in Africa) looks like I’m face to face with a wall and I’m looking up at the top of it and I’m not sure if I can do it but I know that I am going to figure it out.” —Jesse Danger
Jesse Danger of Movement Creative is referring to schools in South Africa that have been dealing with unbelievable water challenges. A creche (pre-school) outside Pretoria needs new pumps so food can be prepared with clean water, a high school in Port Elizabeth needs doors with toilets and stronger pipes so that over 1300 students can use the bathroom in privacy without walking through flooded bathrooms, and another less than 10 miles away needs toilets with water rather than relying on just two spigots for both drinking water and sanitation systems.
Along with Max Henry and Francis Lyons, Jesse visited these schools in August as part of Know Obstacles program iKnowObstacles: Water Crisis. The world water crisis is a cause close to the heart of KO co-founder & CEO Francis Lyons who became familiar with the issue while doing film work for DC-based Global Water Challenge.
“A lot of kids in South Africa can’t get the education they deserve because their hard working principals and teachers can’t provide these basic necessities.” Lyons says, “I spent most of my career making TV about experts and celebrities making a difference in people’s lives. Through Know Obstacles I have met and worked with amazing parkour athletes who believe overcoming any and all obstacles is what parkour is all about. iKnowObstacles was created as a way to help them do that and we couldn’t be more thrilled than to be working with Max and Jesse to create the program.”
In partnership with Global Water Challenge, H2O for Life, and the Movement Creative KO is developing programs for students in the United States to help solve basic water issues for students in South Africa. KO & Movement Creative bring parkour experiences to schools using water challenges as a foundation for their activities, and then, through the H2O for Life program, partner those schools with an African school to raise money for their specific water project.
Global Water Challenge and KO sponsored the August trip to give the athletes first hand experience with the crisis and learn about the specific needs of schools we plan to help in the near future.
“I was amazed at the tenacity of cafeteria staff cooking delicious healthy lunches for students despite a lack of running water in the kitchen… the determination of a principal who had to spend hours a day fixing plumbing & electrical problems by himself while still teaching classes and administering to a school of 1300 students...and the vision and strength of a woman who turned a school with no running water or sanitation infrastructure into a facility with a library , modern computer lab, social services, garden and a nationally ranked chess team in THREE YEARS. These people understand the spirit of parkour. They understand what it means to persevere, to find solutions to difficult problems. They do it everyday…”
Max Henry & Jesse Danger watch a demonstration of the only source of water at Erasmus Crèche preschool in Johannesburg , South Africa. Washington Primary School in Washington, CT and Olivia Hawkins and Claire Sullivan of Fairfield Connecticut helped raised money that will improve the water infrastructure at the preschool.
Max teaches some parkour basics to elementary learners at Charles Duna Elementary.
KO and its partners thank everyone who have already donated to this program. We look forward to working with more schools and athletes to get funding for these and other programs. If you would like to find out how you can get involved please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wanna see more? Check out Instagram to see personal highlights from the trip.