Tuesday, January 21, 2014

And the Winner is...

Kenya Bowl
I'll get to the winners in just a moment, but please take the time to read…

Someone sent me a link on Facebook a few weeks ago about how first world problems sound when read by someone in a third world country.  My favorite one was read by a little boy. "I hate it when I order food and say no pickles, and still, they give me pickles." Another man read a complaint outside of his tiny hut.,"I hate when my house is so big, that I need to buy two wireless routers". His face was bright and his voice laughed as he spoke.

I couldn't stop thinking about all of the random silly complaints spoken within the walls of my own house.  "This stupid toilet isn't flushing right", "I'm hungry & there's nothing to eat",  followed by "I don't like (name anything that's in the refrigerator)", "Do I have to load/unload the dishwasher again?"  I am now sadly aware…

I asked for your complaints surrounding the topic of water, because that Facebook story  made me stop and think… My family and nearly every family I know has access to clean water. The water we give our dogs, wash our cars with, and even the water in our toilets is cleaner than the water many people have to drink each day.  We don't become ill from our water.  We don't walk miles carrying a jug home each day.   I want to remember this more often, but in the world we live in it's difficult thing to do.

My parents began a project last spring after they visited Kenya on vacation.  They found out about these amazing filters that can turn ANY water into clean, disease free, drinking water.  They raised money over several months, and were able to supply a small village with the filters, one for each household. The filters never need to be replaced, they can be backwashed and used over many years.  With these filters, waterborne illness could potentially be eliminated in many parts of the world.  They can also be used in situations of natural disaster when water becomes undrinkable. 

A filter kit is $95. 
This includes international shipping, training sessions with a translator to teach families how to use them, along with ways to  prevent waterborne disease.  Best of all, a family will have access to clean water for a lifetime.  

This spring and summer, I'll be making a special group of glass pieces to help fund the purchase of more filters.  I hope to involve some school groups, friends, students, and random people in the creation of these pieces. (are you interested in playing with some glass?)… If you'd like to be involved, keep watch,  I'll be posting more details soon :)

Thanks to all of you for your contributions to the discussion, and especially for reading about the project.  I let my kids draw the names, and since there were two kids here, there are two winners.

Congratulations to ANNA CURTH! and CRAIG SMITH!

Here is the link to the Facebook Story I watched:

If you want to hear more, read on!

Below are photos from my parents' project.  The group arrived very early for the training session, and I think the women are smiling the most because it is their job to deal with providing water for their families.  The second photo is of Rose Wambua, who is doing the training, along with the chief elder of the village, who is translating.

In Africa, 387 million people lack access to clean water. 

3.1 million people die each year from preventable, waterborne illnesses. That is more than the entire population of Los Angeles.

Globally, an estimated 200 million hours are spent each day collecting water.  

Women and children are prohibited from accomplishing little more than survival.  Not because of a lack of ambition, or ability, but because of a lack of safe water and adequate sanitation. Millions of women and children in the developing world spend untold hours daily, collecting water from distant, often polluted sources, then return to their villages carrying their filled 40 pound jerry cans on their backs.

The lost productivity of people collecting water is greater than the number of hours worked in a week by employees of Wal-Mart, UPS, McDonald's, IBM, Target, and Kroger combined.

These statistics are from the World Health Organization.  (I didn't make this stuff up!)

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