“For it is in giving that we receive”. – Francis of Assisi
Sometimes life takes an unexpected curve and you just have to go for it. Back in December, as I was preparing for the busiest time of the year for me and my family I received an email telling me about an opportunity to join LifeStraw, a water filtration social enterprise owned by Vestergaard,on their upcoming trip to Kenya in February on a special project: To reach the one millionth child to receive safe drinking water.
I dropped everything I was doing that December day and applied for one of three spots to attend as a storyteller and volunteer on the trip. I hoped for the best and left for the holidays returning right after the New Year to receive the exciting news that I was selected to join the 2018 Follow the Liters team to Kenya!
As I prepare to leave for the trip today, I want to tell you a little bit more about LifeStraw and the what I will be doing for the next week in Kenya. I am thrilled to be going and doing the work I love so much. Traveling, volunteering and doing good! Making a difference has become so important to me throughout the years. I have been blessed with so many opportunities to travel and have realized how inequitable the world can be. Giving back to my family, friends, community and those around the world in need is a critical aspect of my life. I look forward to making a difference over the next week.
Last Friday, March 22 was World Water Day 2013, a powerful day of advocacy and awareness worldwide about the importance of safe water and sanitation. As part of the Global Team of 200, a group of social good mom bloggers from across the country who concentrate on women and girls, child hunger, and maternal health, I wrote my piece titled “Coming together for World Water Day“.
Photo credit: WaterAid
Jennifer James, founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Goodand The Global Team of 200 wrote this piece today on the popular blog site Babble called “Mom Bloggers in the Importance of Water” which documents the work our volunteer team of social good mom bloggers did for World Water Day 2013. I was honored to read it and wanted to share it with you all.
This Friday, March 22, is World Water Day – a day delegated by the United Nations to recognize the importance and need of safe water around the world. In honor of this important day, I am thrilled to be working with the Global Team of 200 and WaterAid to help raise awareness of the desperate need for safe drinking water and sanitation around the world. Safe water and sanitation transforms lives and is one of the keys to bringing people out of poverty.
Water is just the beginning because… it helps build a more prosperous future. For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of $4 is returned in increased productivity, thanks to time saved and better health. Photo Credit: WaterAid.
Did you know that 783 million people do not have access to safe drinking water?
Step back and think about this statistic for a moment. What would you do if you were not able to simply turn on your faucet and fill up your glass or pot with clean, safe water?
Until recently, Ayelech, a 22-year-old mother of two living in Lehayte, Ethiopia spent over two hours a day searching for water and carrying it home in two large jerry cans on her back. She gave birth to her second child Oytiba while on the side of river filling her cans. Photo credit: WaterAid.
What would you do if you had to spend an hour or two each and every day fetching clean drinking water?
With a safe water source close to home, people in the world’s poorest countries have a lot more time and water to cultivate crops, saving money and improving their diets at the same time. Photo credit: WaterAid.
How would you manage? How would you live your life? And more importantly, how would you care for your family?
School-age children spent their days scrambling up narrow rocky trails, carrying home dirty water instead of going to school. Photo Credit: WaterAid.
To most of us in the Western world, the thought of not having instant access to clean, safe drinking water is literally unimaginable. However, for 11 % of the world’s population, this is a tragic reality. When you combine having unsafe drinking water with poor sanitation, it leads to diarrhea which kills 2,000 children every single day. Something completely unthinkable to many of us.
Every day, millions of women walk miles to fetch water, often carrying a child too. When the child gets too heavy to carry, they are left at home, often unsupervised. Photo credit: WaterAid.
Millions of people are trapped in a world in which clean, fresh and safe water is not even a remote option and has led to dire consequences. Preventable deaths and diseases, wasted time spent fetching water each day, lack of access for girls to education due to no adequate sanitation, and lower economic output for the nations without safe water and sanitation. Not having safe water or sanitation keeps people trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty with little chance of escape.
Water really is just the beginning…..these children are thrilled with their recently constructed toilet that provides them with good sanitation and privacy. Safe water really helps keep girls in school too. Photo credit: WaterAid.
But there is hope as the problem of unsafe drinking water is entirely solvable.
This Friday, join WaterAid and the Global Team of 200 to help spread the word about global water poverty. There are a variety of ways you can participate in this day and help spread awareness.
How you can help:
Follow WaterAid on Twitter and Facebook and share our posts on the #20ways that water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty. Also follow along with the Twitter has tag #WorldWaterDay 2013 for the latest news.
Join the World Water Day Google+ Hangout at 1.30pm EST/ 5:30PM GMT on Friday, March 22 at http://ow.ly/iZCdj – WaterAid and other leading water organizations (such as +charity: water, +Water.org, +Water For People, +People Water) will be discussing the world water crisis and solutions in a celebration moderated by YouTube star Justine Ezarik and WaterAid America’s Head of Policy and Advocacy, Lisa Schechtman (@LSchecht).
Make a donation: as experts in practical, hands-on water solutions WaterAid has brought clean water to 17.5 million people. But we need your help to achieve our aim of helping 1.4 million more people this year.
Please also watch WaterAid’s beautiful video “Water is Just the beginning” and share it.
Lives are transformed when hours spent carrying water are instead spent with family, tending crops, raising livestock or starting a business. Simple access to water, toilets, and hygiene education keeps families healthy, women and girls safe, and children in school. In communities around the world, WaterAid has helped 17.5 million people take the first steps out of poverty.