Today we are at another powerful turning point for first Americans, and for all of us. The courageous actions of the Standing Rock Sioux inspires place-based people everywhere. Through the example of prayerful indigenous people at Standing Rock, many Christians are coming to a powerful realization: Protecting our watersheds for future generations is God's call to action for people of all faiths today, just as urgent as it was for previous generations of interfaith activists to abolish slavery or march for civil rights. To protect water is the sacred task of today's generation.
Try to imagine your morning routine without water. Brushing your teeth, taking a shower, using the bathroom, making tea or coffee. Practically every step requires a lot of water — clean and easily accessible.
For millions of women around the world, the morning routine is very different.
In developing countries around the world, women spend up to five hours every day collecting water from distant and often polluted sources, returning to their villages carrying 40-pound jerry cans on their backs. Water.org reports that women and children in 45 developing countries bear the primary responsibility for water collection. Bodies break down under the weight and often the water makes families sick. Some 50 diseases are related to poor water quality and lack of sanitation. And it’s the children under five who suffer the most.
Dignity and safety are hard to come by in a world without water and sanitation. Women and girls must sneak off into a secluded field in the dark of night for privacy, where some will be molested or raped. When a girl reaches puberty, she is either humiliated at school or misses several days each month — many drop out altogether just to manage menstruation. It’s an unfair reality that keeps millions of young women in poverty, with no way out.
T.J. Foltz has a recipe to help the world's poor: Take one part entrepreneurship, one part social media savvy and one part faith-based motivation. Fold in the world's largest retailer.
Then add water.
If every American spent $10 per year on his Humankind Water — less than they spend on Halloween candy — it would be enough to nearly eradicate the world's water sanitation problems, Foltz says.
Foltz, a former Christian youth minister, put out his first bottle of Humankind Water last October. The idea is to sell bottled water in a socially conscious way, with 100 percent of net profits going to fund clean-water projects in Haiti, Asia and Africa.
Today is World Water Day – an opportunity to celebrate the amazing H20 that we have the privilege to enjoy every day. It is also a day to remember and campaign on behalf of the 780 million people who lack access to clean water across the globe, and the 2.5 billion without access to a basic toilet.
Here are some of the best World Water Day links from around the world:
World Vision offers an inspiring story of how life-changing access to clean water can be for people in the developing world.
UK-based Christian international development organization Tearfund have worked on issues of water and sanitation for many years and offer their thoughts on why today is an important day for all of us.
In the old days, in the coal towns of West Virginia, winter was a time when folks hunkered around the pot-bellied stove and whiled away time spinning stories. At times, someone would fiddle with the draft, poke the coal embers, and release an extra dollop of acrid coal smell. Houses were drafty. Your front side facing the stove could be burning up, your backside shivering cold.