First week of June Ubergsmoen was the scene of a fictional transit camp . Around 100 students from Tvedestrand and Åmli high school put theory into practice by calculating the water need for 3,000 people who have been internally displaced .

The workshop was going on the whole week with new students every day. The first group on Monday  got the job preparing the drilling rig , digging ditches and gettting ready for for operation.

–The idea is that things will happen exactly as in an emergency situation.  I’m impressed by the eagerness and hard work the students have put down this week, says general manager Yme and engineer, Geir Ommundsen .


The drilling rig is in place. Soon hydraulic hoses from the two-wheeled tractor will be connected to the drilling string. Students from Vegårshei and Åmli was an extremely pleasant and hardworking bunch. (Photo: Guttorm Eskild Nilsen )


Theory into practice

Students have used books to calculate the minimum water need to survive the first few days . They have also calculated how many water stations it was necessary to assemble. Each water station will have six taps. The students tested the water quality in the area in Yme`s mobile laboratory. It was discovered some bacteria in the lake nearby, but none in the river. Moreover, students used protractor and GPS to calculate the angle and height of elevation from the water tank to the well so that they could calculate the pressure and how much water they get. In other words, they’ve got used a lot of mathematics , but also English , social studies and biology .


Annual work gave 90,000 NOK last year

The water workshop is part of the collaboration between Yme and Tvedestrand and Åmli high school who last year became a “Yme school.” The school  support a Yme project in the Republic of Congo that provides clean drinking water to schools. Students give one day of work to support and earn money for the project.

Students saw the video and the result of the money that was raised last year.

– Last year the students raised NOK 90 000 in total. The money went to complete three wells for three schools and villages in the Congo, says general manager Yme, Geir Ommundsen.

– That schools receive water, results in more children comming to school. By getting more children through school, we can prevent both child labor and trafficing. So the result of the efforts of the students in Tvedestrand and Åmli can have major influence and help the young to get a chance and do not lose their childhood. By offering norwegian school pupils to come here to learn about humanitarian work, we hope will provide both motivation and a sense of ownership in the project they support, he concludes.

The teachers are also entusiastic about this collobaration.

– In my time as a teacher, I would say that this water workshop with Yme is the best practical approach we’ve experienced. It is organized in an excellent way and very useful and interesting for students and teachers, says tacher og mathematics and sports, Trond Erik Jaabæk.


Carrying water

Some of the students who secured water samples , were also given the opportunity to feel what it’s like to carry water in 25 liter cans. In rural areas in Congo women and children walk up to four kilometers to fetch water . Here the students had to walk 300 meters:

– It is not possible to walk further with such a heavy container on the back, exclaimed one of the students as he exshausted returned to Yme with a full 25 -liter water can on hiis back.

– Although it is usually women and girls who have this job in Africa , I am glad we have equality in Norway , so here it is not a given that it is the girls who are going out to carry water , Ymes fundraiser executive, Wenche Eimhjellen, pointed out when she sent students out on amission to carry water.

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Photos: Guttorm Eskild Nilsen