Rotary Club of Barrie seeks to bring clean drinking water to First Nations communities across Ontario

An intern tests water as part of an internship program offered by Water First (Image provided)

Rotary Clubs across Ontario are trying to help First Nations communities that do not have clean drinking water.

The Rotary Club of Barrie and 40 other Rotary Clubs will be raising money for training programs through Water First for Indigenous people, who will learn how to operate water purification plants.

Across the province, 40 per cent of First Nations communities are under a Boil Water Advisory, according to Kyle Campbell, Rotary Club of Barrie member.

"We're always looking for a project that's meaningful and can positively impact peoples' lives," Campbell says.

The Water First Paid Internship program trains Indigenous interns to become certified water treatment plant operators, ensuring access to safe drinking water. In the 15-month training program, interns receive 2,000 hours of training and experience in the classroom.

So far, the program has a 90 per cent success rate.

"This is a great way for local, Indigenous students to go through the program and help communities that they live in," Campbell says. "They also end up with a working career and can support their families through this."

All donations to the program go directly to students to become certified water treatment facility operators. The Rotary Club says it will match all donations.

To find out more or to donate, visit their website.

With files from CTV's Jayne Pritchard