Water is essential for healthy living, yet 748 million people lack access to clean water – the equivalent of nearly two and a half times the United States population. As a devastating effect, one child under the age of 5 dies every minute from diarrhea caused by contaminated water and unsafe hygiene. Take a look at World Vision’s clean water video for an inside look at the impact of the water crisis in one girl’s life. To address this crisis and to acknowledge the importance of water, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 22 as World Water Day in 1993.
Every Child Deserves Clean Water
Water- it's essential for living, and clean water is something we take for granted. When I stop to think about how many times a day clean water runs from the tap in my own home, I'm almost ashamed by how often we turn it on and let it run. I am guilty of taking showers that are much too long, letting my reasoning be that it's the only alone time I get all day long. Sometimes we forget to turn off the water when we brush our teeth, and I find almost full glasses of clean, filtered drinking water, sitting around the house, stale from the previous day, and waiting to be poured out.
My husband and I try our best to teach our son to be thankful for the things we have, because so many in this world have so little, including the basic needs like clean water, food, shelter, access to safe medical care, etc. We don't always set a good example for our son, though- we waste food, and we waste water, not giving any thought to those who have none. My son will never know what it's like to go hungry, or to not have clean water (and I'm thankful for that), but my heart hurts for those who struggle to survive daily, because they have to drink from a water hole, which is filled with dirty, contaminated water- they have no other option... and many of them will wind up dying because of it.
I wanted to show my sweet son the difference between the water he quenches his thirst with, and the water that many are forced to drink, in other parts of the world. We headed outside, and gathered dirt from our garden. We placed the dirt in a clear bowl, and added water. The clean water from our garden hose instantly became cloudy and dirty, when it hit the bowl with dirt in it. B's reaction was what I would expect many children's to be, 'Eew... that's yucky water!' When I asked him if he would want to drink that dirty water, the response was an immediate 'no.' I wouldn't want to drink it, either. I'm horrified by stories I've read and by photos I've seen, which depict what life is like for those who have no clean water source from which to drink, cook with, or bathe in. It leaves me wondering... what can I do to make a difference?
I want to encourage you to read this story, over on the World Vision blog, written by Kari Costanza. It's a personal account of what life is like for people in Zambia, who do not have access to clean water.
- 'When we talk about people not having access to clean water, what does that really mean?
For the people of Bulanda, Zambia, it meant finding the fur of a drowned dog (and then the dog itself) in their only source of drinking water.
Read about the challenges that come without clean water, and this community's prayers and pleas for water … and an answer!'
Our friends at World Vision sent me a couple of beautiful items to help remind me, and help me spread the word about World Water Day, and World Water Week.
Royal Silk Scarf
Today, I'm wearing this beautiful royal silk scarf from my friends at World Vision to help raise awareness for World Water Week. I am celebrating the life-giving qualities of clean water, and remembering that far too many go without it. Together, we can make a difference. World Water Day is today, March 22nd.
Vietnam's Ma Chau villagers weave these traditional silky smooth scarves, helping to provide them with a sustainable income.
Approximate size: 68"". Each is unique; size and color may vary slightly.
I also received a World Water Day Umbrella – Created specifically for bloggers behind World Vision’s 2015 World Water Day campaign, this blue umbrella serves as a practical reminder that rainwater is considered a precious resource for people that lack established water systems.
I have been proudly wearing my scarf and using my umbrella, and they have been wonderful resources for me to get the conversation started about World Water Day/Week, and letting others know what they can do to help.
Ways You Can Help Now
Take a Short Shower: Keep track of time spent showering as a reminder of the water shortage around the world. An American that takes only a five minute shower has already used more than an entire day’s worth of water for the average person in a developing country’s slum.
Make a Home Cooked Meal: Skip a restaurant meal and eat in. Use the time at home to talk about the need for water and donate money saved by cooking at home to give clean, life-giving water. A gift of $50 provides one new person with clean water.
Organize a Mall Walk: For alternative scenery, gather family and friends for a mall walk to remember the significant time women in developing countries spend bringing water to families. The time North American women spend shopping daily equals the time many women devote to collecting water each day – nearly 200 million hours!
Give Clean Water: Help us get one step closer to providing reliable clean water sources around the world by visiting World Vision’s website to contribute to the Clean Water Fund, or make a monthly pledge. A total of $25 per month provides 6 more people with clean water every year.
Run a Lemonade Stand: Help provide clean water by doing what you love. Whether it's hosting a benefit concert, coordinating a bake sale, involving the kids and setting up a lemonade stand or giving up your birthday you can be part of the water effect.
Find out more here.
Image courtesy of World Vision
Want to Get Involved? Let's Go!
To learn how you can get the whole family involved in raising awareness, making a difference, and how you can support Water Now, a global clean water campaign. Go to causeflash.org/flashes/water-now to learn more. To learn more about The Water Effect, please visit World Vision's website. You can also connect with World Vision through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the World Vision Blog.
Want it? Win it!
Help us spread the word about World Water Week! One lucky reader will win their very own Royal Silk Scarf and Umbrella from our partners at World Vision. Giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older- one entry per household. Just use the RC entry form below to enter for your chance to win! This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment.
Here's hoping you'll take this opportunity to enter to win this great prize pack, and that by doing so, you'll spark conversations that will lead to taking action, which just might save a life.
Thanks for supporting this wonderful cause, and good luck!
Special thanks to World Vision for providing me with these wonderful products, and for offering this wonderful giveaway for our readers, so that we might in turn raise awareness for World Water Day.
a Rafflecopter giveaway