What if your only choice was to walk for miles to get water from a dirty pond or stream? FIGHT DIRTY! Support Team H2GO at Walk for Water 2015 for 20Liters.
What if you couldn’t go to your kitchen sink to get clean water to drink? What if you had to walk for miles to get water from a dirty pond or stream as your closest water source? What if a neighbor’s child got very sick — or worse yet — died from drinking that dirty water? You’d fight to protect that from happening to your family, wouldn’t you? Regardless of where you live and what kind of water you have, you CAN help us FIGHT DIRTY!
When was the last time you thought about the source of your water? We can easily walk over to our sinks and turn on the faucet to get clean water whenever we want. Nearly 800 million people in the world do not have this luxury. To get water, they need to walk to a pond, stream, well or another source. This walk can often take hours in hot temperatures. They go through all this effort just to gather dirty water in a large container to lug all the way back home. Perhaps you’ve seen the photos of mothers who have children strapped to them carrying large pots of water on their heads? Imagine if you had to do this walk daily just to survive.
On May 16, the 9th annual Walk for Water will be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (UPDATE: Read the post about our experience at the 2015 Walk for Water.) The Walk for Water simulates the experience of people who do not have access to clean water. Participants raise awareness by walking together and raising money to support 20 Liters, a nonprofit organization focused on creating access to clean water through water filters and rainwater harvest systems.
Why We Fight Dirty
For the last few years, our family joined with several others to raise money as a team during the Walk for Water. We call ourselves “Team H2GO” and are gearing up to FIGHT DIRTY by participating in the Walk for Water again this year.
Creating access to clean water is an issue close to our hearts. Team H2GO includes ten adults and eight children. Most of our children are four years of age and under. Facts like these break our hearts (Source: 20 Liters):
- Dirty water kills more people than all forms of violence including war.
- Diarrhea kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined and remains in the second leading cause of death among children under five globally.
- Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.
- 100,000–120,000 deaths are due to cholera every year (Source: World Health Organization Fact Sheet July 2012)
- Diarrhea results in one in five child deaths – about 1.5 million each year is due to diarrhea.
This is unacceptable. Our children may be too young to comprehend facts like these. They don’t really need to know yet how devastating this issue is for many kids like them around the world who do not have access to clean water. Yet through the Walk for Water, our young children are developing empathy and learning many valuable life lessons:
- Our children are learning that not everyone has a faucet in their home where they can get clean water whenever they want.
- During the Walk for Water, our families have a tangible hands-on experience of walking alongside others to fill containers of dirty water. We can physically feel how heavy it is to carry water.
- When we get back to the starting point of the Walk for Water, we have the opportunity to filter the dirty water we’ve collected. We can even taste the water after it’s been filtered.
- Our children are learning to be team players. They can feel and see what it’s like to be part of something bigger than themselves.
- Read more about our eye-opening experience at last year’s Walk for Water.
How You Can Help Team H2GO Make a Difference
1. Participate in the Walk for Water. If you live in West Michigan, join us on Saturday, May 16, 2015 from 11 am–1 pm at Ah-Nab-Awen Park, 220 Front Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504. Learn more about the Walk for Water and register online.
2. Financially support Team H2GO. It’s our goal to raise $2,516.15 by 5/16 for 20 Liters. Please consider giving a financial donation to support our team. A donation of $20 creates access to clean water for one person for up to 10 years. Visit our fundraising page to make a tax-deductible donation online or contact us, if you’d prefer to send a check.
This year, we’re specifically raising money to buy a SAM2 water filter for a village in Rwanda.
“SAM 2’s are larger higher-capacity models, making them a perfect fit for schools and health clinics requiring higher usage. With a cost of $2,000 per unit (which includes material costs, training, and ongoing follow-up and maintenance), SAM 2’s are able to provide clean water for 400 people for 10 years.
The sand in the filter does two things: it strains out the larger particles like sediment, parasites, and amebas, while also acting as a home for bacteria. When the sand is fully colonized by bacteria, which happens after about three weeks, the colonized bacteria are capable of destroying 90 to 95% of the bacteria in the water poured through it.
A SAM 2 requires no electricity to function, making ideal for rural areas that lack electricity. Each school and clinic is taught how to use the filter, empowering them to be self-sufficient and address their own needs.”
3. Organize your own Walk for Water. Don’t live in West Michigan? No problem. 20 Liters has resources to help you organize a Walk for Water in your own community. Visit the 20 Liters website for more information.