It feels like an overwhelming number, but the first thing that you need to know is that it gets smaller every day. When charity: water started in 2007, it was 1.1 billion people without access to clean water. Thanks to millions of generous donors and the work of thousands of other organizations, we’ve nearly cut this problem in half.
And we’ve never been in a better position to get it to zero.
This isn’t wishful thinking!
We’re not talking about “someday” way off in the future that only our children’s children will get to see. The United Nations believes we can do this by 2030! They actually named it their 6th Sustainable Development Goal –to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030.
Sure, we can split hairs on how we define “access.” We also know the problem will only get harder to solve as we get closer to solving it. So maybe it’s 2030. Maybe it’s 2032. Maybe it’s 2038.
No matter what, we know that there will be a day–in our lifetime–when we get to celebrate this moment. When we, as a global community, will be able to say that every single person on the planet has access to clean and safe drinking water.
Every single person has life’s most basic need.
Every single person has a foundation for strong health.
Every single person has opportunities that come with time and strength and education.
And we could be saying all of that 11 years from now.
Now here’s the real beauty: clean water changes everything.
Devi used to spend hours each day walking through India’s Thar Desert to find and collect water for her family. Twice in the morning and twice in the evening, she’d trek over sandy dunes with a massive clay pot on her head. Four hours. Wasted. Every day.
Today, with a rainwater harvesting tank in her front yard, Devi doesn’t have to spend her time walking for water.
“I used to bring water from one hour away,” she shared. “Now water is at my doorstep.”
Evelyn and her husband used to collect their water from Uganda’s Lake Victoria. While the water source wasn’t far away, it did introduce all kinds of health problems. For years, their family was spending 25% of their monthly income on visits to the doctor and medicine to treat stomach problems, diarrhea, and waterborne diseases.
“We used to fall sick frequently. We’d visit the health center three times every month. And at that time we were very poor.”
Today, with clean water nearby, the entire family of seven is healthier than ever before. Not only does Evelyn have more time to work and earn income, but the money her family is saving will send all five of their kids to school.
Brichko used to be one of the only kids in her family who got to attend school regularly. Though her parents understood the importance of education, finding enough water for eight people had become a job of its own, and they needed help.
“If we don’t stop drinking this, how will we be free?” Brichko asked.
Today, with a drilled well in the middle of their village, collecting water takes no time at all. Now, no one in Brichko’s family has to miss school.
Families who currently drink from swamps, rivers, or hand dug holes will be turning on taps outside their homes or easily pumping clean water to the surface from deep below the earth.
Communities who’ve never known a world of opportunity will have the health and time to invest in their futures. To dream bigger than ever before.
This is something that people in rural places cannot do for themselves. They don’t have the infrastructure or the tools or the knowledge to solve this problem. It’s the one thing they can’t do.
But we can.
1 in 10 of us lack access to clean water.
9 in 10 of us can help.
The world we live in right now is hard. And scary. And complicated. Hurricanes, terrorism, politics… so much is beyond our control. But this is something we can do. Our contribution to bring goodness to the world. To alter the trajectory. To invest in the future. To be the change we want to see.
We’re going to make history. And we’re going to do it together.
Whether you’re a student or a babysitter, a CEO or a lawyer, we need you to be part of this. It doesn’t matter how much you can give. Or where you live. Or how many people know your name. It’s about showing up and making a difference.
There are only a few times in each of our lives that we get to witness a truly historic global accomplishment: Ending smallpox, tearing down the Berlin Wall, landing on the moon.
We believe that giving clean water to the entire planet will be one of those moments.
Imagine that day!
Massive crowds gathered in public celebration all over the world. Families carrying homemade cardboard signs saying, “Yes. We. Did.” and “We were the change we wanted to see.”
Cars will be pulling over not because the streets are too packed with dancing people but for the opportunity to dance together in the streets.
They’ll be dancing on rooftops in Haiti and hillsides in Malawi and mountaintops in Nepal. With drums and gongs and vuvuzelas.
That’s the celebration we imagine.
And we hope we get to celebrate it with you.
The Spring is a passionate and determined group of monthly givers on a mission to end the water crisis in our lifetime. People like you — from more than 100 countries around the world — giving anything they can to prove how unstoppable we are when we work together.
We’d love to invite you to be part of it.