World Water Day – March 22, 2014
by Kyle Guerin – We Serve Manager for The Smile Generation®
Saturday, March 22 is World Water Day. World Water Day is a time for renewed focus on our mission of changing lives by providing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries.
On this day, I can’t help but think back to January of 2013, when I met a young mother of three named Nagaste, which translates to “Queen”. Nagaste lives in the village of Gonok in Northern Ethiopia. The people of this village travel two hours by foot every day, only to collect water that makes them sick. The trail that they walk to get that water is exhausting enough, yet they do so while carrying 50 lb jerry cans. In Ethiopia, children begin fetching water at age 6; by age 8 they are fetching water on their own.
I think of the village of Gonok a lot throughout my day, when I walk over to the refrigerator and get a cold drink of water; when I water my grass; when I do my laundry. We in the United States take water for granted. To us, water can seem like a never-ending resource that is readily accessible with the turn of a knob. We all know that’s not true, but we still think of it as a limitless resource.
The water crisis is huge. Over 800 million people around the world don’t have access to clean drinking water. That number can seem daunting, but trust me when I say that helping even one person get water makes a huge difference. Last year, The Smile Generation® raised 1.3 million dollars and brought clean drinking water to nearly 33,000 people through an organization called charity: water. So on a day like today, when you’ve finished your workout and are rehydrating with a glass refreshing water, think of Nagaste and her water struggles.
My hope is that you might get motivated to rally some friends together and do something to raise money for charity: water. Run a marathon; grow a beard; give up your birthday.
Everything helps, because water changes everything.