Water Is So Important
Quick history lesson: on this day in 1993, the United Nations’ General Assembly voted to make March 22, World Water Day. Party💧
According to UN Water (the branch of the UN leading the initiative), the spirit of the day is to bring attention to the world’s water crisis and to support safe, clean water projects for those who need it most.
You might not realize it, but access to clean water is one of the best ways to eradicate poverty. After all, it’s one of the pillars keeping us human animals alive and, most importantly, healthy. For over 600 million people on Earth, clean water is the difference between life and death.
Water really does change everything.
So to celebrate the day, we’re happy to share the story of a guy named Scott.
Back in the day, he was promoting nightclubs, partying with models, and drinking Goose. But after several years of this “lifestyle”, the buzz wore off. Luckily, his heart brought him into another direction. Towards charity.
Back in his late-20s, he decided he needed to do something more fulfilling with his life. So he spent over a year volunteering as a photojournalist for Mercy Ships — a charity that docks hospital ships in ports across the developing world providing free health services, like surgery, to those who can’t afford it. (What a beautiful idea, we know.)
During his stay in places like Liberia, he took over 60,000 photographs of people of all ages suffering from life-altering, benign tumors that were removed via relatively inexpensive (by our standards) operations.
To get a better understanding (visually) of what he documented, on Scott’s blog, you can see what Hawa and Joseph went through. (Warning though, these images are not for everyone. We teared up at the beauty and power of these before and after images and the personal stories behind them. Their smiles are magical.)
The Yellow Jerrycan
Scott’s volunteering efforts exposed him to the very real consequences of dirty water: sickness and disease. The vast majority of which are preventable. If only they had access to clean water.
The experience profoundly changed his life. As a result, he founded charity: water.
What is most awesome about c:w is how they re-thought the charity business model.
In a nutshell, 100% of public donations (that’s you and us), are directly applied to the various water projects like digging wells and training for upkeep and maintenance. Meanwhile, the organization’s costs (like rent, salaries, data servers, etc.) are funded by another stream of nearly 100 private donors (the really wealthy kind, like Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey.)
What is also pure greatness about c:w is their level of transparency. All completed projects are tagged on Google Maps with GPS coordinates and photos of the well their donors helped fund. In fact, back in 2011, we raised over $5,000 for c:w and helped fund a well in Malawi and another in Ethiopia.
Scott’s story is great because his story has influenced so many other stories. And although there are dozens of water-related charities and NGOs, none have made as much of a splash (ha!) as charity: water has. They’ve made water (and charity) sexy.
To date, charity: water has helped fund nearly 23,000 water projects which bring clean water to over 7 million people, in 24 countries.
So as you fill up your 8oz glass (8 times today as per Doc’s recommendation) with water, don’t forget to smile. You’ve never really had to think about the safety of the water you consume.
Smile also because you now know that some great people are dedicating their lives to ensure that every person on Earth has access to clean water.
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