Friday, April 17, 2009

Be Hope To Her

This spring, Nuru International is launching a nationwide awareness campaign focused on college campuses. The event is an attempt to experientially raise awareness about the issue of clean drinking water that over one billion people are challenged with each day. In the states we get our water from a tap, flush it down our toilets, and buy it by the bottle.

In other parts of the world, people hike 30 minutes or more (one way) to get five gallons of water for their family. This trip has to be made multiple times per day. In order to get that water, people have to give up a lot of time to dedicate to water access. Even when the water is acquired though, oftentimes it is filled with bacteria, and is not safe to drink. So the water needs to be boiled. If the water isn't boiled, then people get diarrhea, or have other health problems. This means that their daily routine is slowed down severely at best. In some cases, because of lack of convenient access to medical facilities, this can result in death (an 2.2million million children will die from diarrhea this year). When you have to spend hours each day getting water, and boiling water, there isn't much time for schoolwork, so many young girls don't get to complete school because they are taking care of getting water for their families.

Next Thursday, eleven major college campuses across the United States are participating in an event called Be Hope To Her. Women will gather at a central place on campus, and carry yellow five gallon buckets to a water source where they will fill and carry in solidarity with the women and girls in other parts of the world for whom this is a daily part of life. As the women walk, men will hold posters along the route that explain the fact that this walk is THE NORM for many, many people. Every day. Because water is a necessity.

I've heard people say that it would take $13 billion dollars to provide every person in the world access to safe clean drinking water. That's a lot of money. It's also the same amount that americans spend on cologne and perfume each year.

As I think about the event, and the inner strength of these women and girls who make this journey every day for themselves and their families, I'm excited. I'm excited because I believe this event will help inspire a generation to work creatively and collaboratively to confront the crisis. Not just the crisis of clean drinking water, but the larger crisis of extreme poverty.

If you wouldn't mind, if you have a blog, or you twitter, or you use facebook, will you help us to make the event even BIGGER by telling your friends, and posting a link to and to be part of lasting change?

Be the change you want to see.

Be hope. Be light.

Be Nuru.

1 comment:

Bill said...

Billy, this is a very eloquent description of this critical issue, good luck on your event! Bill Easterly