Start Counting Down
The great thing about advocacy is that you can look back and see you have made a difference.
The bad thing about advocacy is that your goal can only be achieved by working yourself out of a job. But, I think there are enough things to advocate for that we will always have a job doing something, somewhere.
Then the confusing thing about advocacy work is that your statistics are always changing. Once upon a time at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, I just stood there watching the global population clock. It was fascinating and scary to see the world’s numbers increasing with each breath.
I think they need a clock/timer like thing for the things we fight for too, so we can blissfully watch working ourselves out of a job. We need count-downs for things like extreme poverty, number of HIV cases, number of modern slaves, or even one for those without access to clean water.
When I first started caring about clean water it was around the time I did the September Campaign for my 25th birthday. At that time–only five years ago–there were a LOT more people without access to clean water. 1/7th of the world’s population? Maybe 1/8th? But now it is only 748 million people! That number is still HUGE, but it is just 1/10th of the global population and so much less than it used to be just a few short years ago!
How would the world be different with access to clean water?
Because I know you want to know our impact in bringing clean water (facts via WorldHelp):
- Access to clean water would prevent 1.5 million children deaths caused by unhealthy sanitation, not to mention alleviating large amounts of sickness and other health issues.
- In addition, crop production would go up so much that it would relieve hunger for 150 million people.
- It would also give women and children back 6 hours of their day (the average spent collecting water).
- 443 million hours of education would be given to students with this “new” free time.
- This freed-time also would bring greater equality to women by giving them a chance to do other things and start businesses.
- There is also the issue of safety–about 1/4 of the girls in areas notorious for lack of clean water do not choose their first sexual encounter–collecting water puts them at high risk. (read more here.)
- Along the same lines, often there are economic ties to poverty and the cycle of violence that perpetrates issues like modern slavery, access to clean water can also provide greater freedom around the globe (which I am really considering today, in the throws of LBDProject2015!).
You see, there is nothing bad about bringing on fresh, clean water!
Do-Good Ideas for Action
So, what to do?
But right now, I am going to recommend being part of this year’s World Help’s water project. I love the idea of a collective us working for a targeted community. It is always much easier to feel like we are part of something when we are working together. And in what a better way than creating a full-comprehensive water system of sustainable development for a region? Can you imagine all those good things listed above actually happening in a community within this very year?!
I am inspired.
This year, we are going to count Kirinda off the list. The clounter-downer will be missing the population of this community in a matter of months. We won’t be at 748 million anymore, because the population of Kirinda will be subtracted–we can do that!
You can read more about this community we are coming together to change for good here: For Kirinda: Our Biggest Task Yet
In addition, I think this movie is super cute, because surely we’ve all wanted to know how hard it is to lift one of those jerry-can thingies: