“For Africa!” is what one student shouted when asked why she came to a fundraising Zumba class Saturday afternoon.
The cause was to help the Oregon Institute of Technology chapter of Engineers Without Borders dance their way back to Africa to complete a clean water project started two years ago.
Engineers Without Borders first traveled to Songea, Tanzania to begin building a well for the southeastern African community during the summer of 2011. They returned in 2012 to begin installing a base for a filtration system.
To return this summer, the organization teamed up with an Oregon Tech marketing class to brainstorm a fundraiser. For $5, the community could support a good cause and sweat some calories away to a Latin-inspired workout.
About 100 dancers showed up at Danny Miles Court to support the cause. Their cash will help buy sand and rocks to complete the water filter.
“We wanted to do something different to get the community involved,” marketing student Laura Plass said.
Oregon Tech junior Jeff Lind heard about the project from the prevalent marketing campaign that involved social media, word of mouth, and lots of chalk writings around campus. He had never tried Zumba before the class but was happy to support the cause.
Elyissa Brouillard, a freshman at Oregon Tech, had danced Zumba a couple times and decided to come after she heard what the fundraiser supported.
With the project near completion, clean water could be coming soon to a school in Songea. Future expansion could extend the filter’s reach to 25,000 people.
With the benefit in mind, it wasn’t hard to work up a little energy to dance.