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12-year-old Fargo girl receives prestigious environmental award

Sawyer Anderson won second place in the 8-12 year-old category for her project, "Water Works." After hearing stories about children in Zambia who travel miles by foot to access clean water, Anderson began a fundraiser to help.

SAWYER ANDERSON.jpg
Sawyer Anderson was one of 16 young environmental activists from across the globe to receive a 2022 International Young Eco-Hero Award. Anderson won second place in the 8-12 year-old category for her project, "Water Works."
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FARGO — A 12-year-old from Fargo has been selected as one of 16 young environmental activists from across the globe to receive a 2022 International Young Eco-Hero Award.

Sawyer Anderson won second place in the 8-12 year-old category for her project, "Water Works."

The award honors eco-conscious youth ages eight to 16 who are taking crucial steps to solve tough environmental problems, according to a press release from Action For Nature, an international environmental non-profit organization.

After hearing stories about children in Zambia who travel miles by foot to access clean water, Anderson began a fundraiser to help.

Her father told her that $50 provides clean water for one person for life, which prompted her to begin her non-profit organization, Water Works.

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With help from church volunteers, Sawyer began designing, sewing and selling bags made of authentic African Chitenge fabrics, and raised $26,000 in less than one year to build wells and bring clean water to villages in Zambia.

To date, Sawyer has raised more than $1 million in donations to build more than 72 wells and save 22,000 lives, the release said.

“Young people like Sawyer have shown that the next generation of leaders is here, and they are taking action across the globe now to address the climate crisis and solve local, national and global environmental challenges,” said Beryl Kay, President of Action For Nature.

At 10 years old, Anderson spent four months writing and illustrating the book "Water Works" after learning many families in the south-central African nation of Zambia have a difficult time getting access to clean water.

In the book, she tells the stories she heard from her dad about his trip to Zambia a few years ago and her journey to raise thousands of dollars to help bring quality water to the country.

“My goal is to not stop until everyone has access to life’s most basic and essential need,” Anderson said. “Water is life.”

Related Topics: ENVIRONMENT
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