charity: water

Chasing water(falls)

Today the online world is buzzing about one thing. Water. Why? I'll tell you why.

  • Because nearly 1 billion people lack access to clean and safe water
  • Because every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease
  • Because the water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.
  • Because women in developing countries walk an average of 3.7 miles a day to collect water.
  • Because more people on earth have cell phones than toilets (Read this case study of India).
  • Because over 200 million hours of labour each day are consumed just to collect water.
  • Because investment in safe drinking water and sanitation contributes to economic growth. For each $1 invested, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates returns of $3 – $34, depending on the region and technology.
  • Because we should be outraged by these numbers and figures.

Need more reasons? Read here for some more hard hitting facts.

Now I've been watching videos and looking at photos related to water all of this morning as a way of getting myself inspired to write this blog post for Blog Action Day. And in almost all those videos and photos, there's a little snapshot of clean water flowing and all I could think to myself was, "Dear God, that water is beautiful". And it's something that we in developing nations take for granted every single day. And I'm not claiming to be the exception. I take extremely long and hot showers and yes, I leave the tap running more often than I'd like to admit. Let's face it, water isn't something I (or you) think about every day. We don't sit at the end of the day and thank any higher being for granting us access to this amazing natural resource. It's just there. And it'll be there tomorrow.

But then I watched this video from the good folks at charity: water and it made me think twice. What if our city's taps went dry? What would we do? It's a startling look at what people go through every single day and it's something that could so easily be affecting us.

So what are you supposed to do now that you know this? 

  • Take time to look at the water flowing out of your taps at home. You couldn't possibly imagine what it would be like to have to drink and bathe in contaminated, dirty water. Be thankful and be more aware next time you leave that tap running.
  • Educate yourself on the water and sanitation crisis that we're currently in the midst of.
  • This time be the educator and tell your friends.
  • Sign a petition to support the UN to bring clean water to millions around the world
  • Donate to non-profit organizations and charities that work to bring developing nations access to clean and safe drinking water.



The following is a list of organizations that you can learn from and get involved with to help fight against our water crisis:, charity: water, Wine to Water, The Water Project, Circle of Blue, End Water Poverty, Water for People, Imagine H20, The Samburu Project.


Tech for Change - September Round Up!

Weeeee! September's been one helluva month! Tons of stuff going on in the non-profit world and as always, there have been some fantastic examples of technology being used for the greater good. Namaste to you too.

Every September, charity: water runs the September Campaign where they ask all those celebrating birthdays in that month to give up presents and instead, ask for a donation to help build a well in one of the developing nations that they're currently working in. This year charity: water celebrated it's fourth anniversary by drilling a well for the Bayaka people in the Central African Republic, bringing them the essential safe and clean drinking water that they need. Aside from raising an incredible $682,638 for the water project, charity: water effectively and impressively made use of the live-streaming technologies available to us today to show us how they conduct their work on the ground in this remote country. On September 7th, they broadcasted the live drill via their Facebook page, although with much difficulty. Take a look at the video below that explains the challenges they had to face during this live drill. There are so many things that NPOs and charities can learn from this example. Being open and honest about both their successes and failures, charity: water gives a whole new meaning to transparency.

Free the Children's annual 'We Day' brings together youth from all across Canada to celebrate and inspire positive change within their communities and beyond. One of the most impressive aspects of this year's campaign (aside, of course, from the actual day's festivities) was what they did with their Facebook page. Such a simple concept but it's potential is really très incroyable! For every 'like' that the page gets, Free the Children's sponsors have agreed to donate $1 to the organization. That's one click of a button that takes a person quite literally less than a second...could there be an easier call to action than that? The current 177,387 'likes' can answer that for you.


The week of September 20th was a big one as world leaders all convened in New York City for the 2010 United Nations Millenium Development Goals (MDG) Summit. Acknowledging the importance and potential impact digital media has to influence people around the globe, the United Nations Foundation partnered with Mashable and 92nd Street Y to host the first ever UN Week Digital Media Lounge. Described as "a place for bloggers to have exclusive in-person access to experts on issues like poverty, hunger, HIV/AIDS, women's health and climate change, the UN Digital Media Lounge was a unique and innovative way to include more voices to this ever crucial conversation.