Update: I’m donating my 25th birthday to charity: water. See the details here.
I’ve added a banner for charity: water on my sidebar, and I’d like to explain why. Here are some facts that I bet you didn’t know:
- Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80 percent of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses.
- In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year just walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely to make them sick. Along their long walk, they’re subjected to a greater risk of harassment and sexual assault.
- In areas where gathering water is impossible, small-scale private water distributors charge full market prices, forcing the poorest households to spend up to 11% of their income on life’s most basic need. Even this water is most likely contaminated if it has been collected from unprotected rivers or ponds.
Charity: water is a non-profit group dedicated to bringing water to the most desperate people on the planet.
So here are some things you can do:
- Get informed. Check out this page on the charity: water website to learn more about why water is such a big deal. To see how the World Water Crisis affects other tragedies — including genocide, visit Operation Broken Silence’s[1. OBS is currently in its final phase of a year-long fundraiser for charity: water. You can donate via its page by clicking here.] report on the World Water Crisis.
- Raise awareness. Tell people what the World Water Crisis is all about.
- Do something to help. You can donate directly to charity: water, purchase some kick-ass merchandise or even donate your birthday to help those in need.
Charity: water’s administrative expenses are privately covered, so 100% of public donations to directly fund sustainable water solutions in areas of greatest need. Just $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years.
After charity: water installs a well in a village or area, 6–10 community members are appointed to the Water Committee and are responsible for overseeing the functionality of the water point. Water Committees are often the first chance for women to step into elected leadership roles. This new responsibility can restore dignity, initiative and equality to community members.
A lack of clean water kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
It doesn’t have to.