Making a Difference on a Global Level: Hackettstown’S Centenary University Takes on Global Water Crisis

By Dawn M. Chiossi


     Making a difference on a global level, Hackettstown’s Centenary University takes on an essential and basic cause, the Global Water Crisis. Acutely concerned regarding humanitarian causes and improving the quality of life for those who need it, Centenary University is doing its part to aid in the Global Water Crisis. 


     According to Centenary University Chaplain, Tim Nicinski, they are actively involved in participating in a variety of worthwhile causes to help others, including Soles For Souls (bringing shoes to those in need) and much more. 


     Helping in the Global Water Crisis is just the latest inspiration for the University’s ENACTUS Club.  Abbreviated to demonstrate its core principles and values, ENACTUS stands for Entrepreneurial, Action, Us. While business often receives a cutthroat reputation, ENACTUS is the exact opposite.  Both a class and a club at the university, this organization demonstrates a long-standing commitment to utilizing their entrepreneurial skills combined with their deep devotion to helping others.


     Striving to benefit people worldwide, and serving as a catalyst for change and progress, Centenary’s  ENACTUS Club energetically aids with a great variety of causes affecting humans at large. Originally founded in 1975 as SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) ENACTUS is a non-profit educational organization that combines businesses and higher education. The club provides college students with leadership opportunities for establishing a variety of outreach programs while making a difference. 


   For Nicinski, the results are catastrophic for humans in general. A lack of something as basic as water causes physical and psychological harm, robbing people of their dignity. “The global water crisis is a worldwide crisis that affects health, poverty and food supplies,” he asserts. “The work that we do brings clean water to the world to help end the poverty and illness associated with unclean water.”


     As a champion for the underdog, Nicinski shares, “I’ve always had a heart for serving others, having been a Marine, police officer and teacher. As a pastor (with 12 years experience– two years at Centenary) I’ve engaged in social justice ministry regularly.”


     Aiding in the Global Water Crisis is just another in a long line of humanitarian causes that he is passionate about. Nicinski credits both the university’s Under the Golden Dome Speaker Series and the ENACTUS club with raising awareness about this critical issue. 


     “The Under the Golden Dome Speaker Series brings speakers in to educate the university community about social justice issues facing the world. The ENACTUS Club has been working on the Global Water Crisis for a few years.”


     Working in conjunction with the Wine into Water Organization, the members of the ENACTUS club excitedly dove in to see what they could do to provide water to those who desperately need it. The way the program works is that a Centenary student and a  United States Veteran travel to places severely in need. Once there, they will help build necessary water wells which will allow these villages to have clean drinking water. 


     With international offices in Nepal, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia, the Wine to Water organization not only raises funds to combat this crisis, but they also keep in mind the specific needs of that particular country and work toward particular goals to help.


     For both the Wine To Water organization and ENACTUS, they are committed to supporting life and dignity for all through clean water.


     Nicinski describes Centenary University’s recent Under the Dome talk as an informational event where Centenary student and ENACTUS Co-President Marc Santora along with Marine Veteran Jackie Dunlap shared how they visited the Dominican Republic to deliver and build water filters to combat the water crisis.      


      The work involved is both arduous and extensive, from planning to fundraising to bringing the clean water itself, there is much to do in the process of creating change.  Nicinski has one word for the concept and for the people who participate in it all: Inspiring. Although he has never visited the Dominican Republic himself, he knew he had to become involved in this essential cause. “I visited the ENACTUS practice presentation regarding their clean water effort,” he shares. “I was not only impressed with their plan but inspired to help. So I began working with students to bring about this event and help in their efforts in the future.”  He explains that the university supports the students “with facilities and supervision as well as direct participation in filter building, staff assistance, and general support,” he tells. “Students are then delivering the filters, meeting with those in need, and helping build filters in the Dominican Republic.” 


     For Nicinski, there’s an extra benefit to this humanitarian effort; It not only brings clean water to those in need, but the initiative also brings all sorts of people together. “I’m thrilled seeing the collection of people involved,” he prides. “The students are working with a veteran’s group which allows them to meet veterans and develop an awareness of their life after military service.”


     For all at Centenary University, its teamwork that strives to make a positive difference in the lives of others.  “I’m excited that the program brings important social justice concerns to the minds of the community,” Nicinski shares. “It is in knowing what 

is going on that people will be inspired to take action. Not only does the program bring attention to the global water crisis and demonstrate that locally we can change things for the better. With programs like this, young people are really making a difference, and  by engaging across many groups of people, good things can happen.”

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