“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get” is one of those “Amish” sayings you find on trivets sold at tourist traps here in Lancaster County. There are days (weeks? months?) when I feel the sentiment is true. I let things slide (like timely blog posts, for instance). The magazines I receive go in a basket on arrival. Usually I get around to reading them, but often it’s months after they arrive.
Sometimes I’ll grab a pile of them and look through them while watching TV. While perusing an issue of the magazine put out by Compassion International, I found a page of water facts that reminded me how thankful I should be that I can turn on a faucet and have clean water:
- 800 million people do not have access to clean water
- 50% of the world’s hospitalizations are due to water-related illnesses such as cholera
- 1.5 million children die of waterborne illnesses every year
- 1,000 parasitic worms often reside in poor children’s bodies at any time due to unclean water
- 2.5 billion people do not have adequate sanitation facilities
- 1 in 5 children worldwide dies from diarrhea—that’s more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined
- Poor people living in the slums pay 5 to 10 times more per liter of water than wealthy people living in the same city
A few months ago I was introduced to the work of a 13-year-old who did more than be thankful that she had clean water. She began Digging Wells for Hope so that others could have clean water for generations. Kelly Forsha and her advisory group of 7 friends started selling pencils for $1. Then they added rubber wristbands. And they ask schools and businesses to sponsor jeans days where people pay $5 to wear jeans.
In a year, they’ve raised $50,000. The first three deep-water wells have been dug in Haiti, and more are on the way. You can see more photos on Digging Wells for Hope’s Facebook page.
It was a simple idea that’s made a world of difference. Kelly didn’t simply let things slide. She did something. And she and her friends are still doing it. When I asked Kelly if they planned to keep it up, she said, “Of course.”
The need for water is a deep problem with a simple solution. Raise money. Dig wells for hope. Thanks, Kelly, for the reminder. Maybe you should inscribe that on a trivet.