July 21, 2011 § 2 Comments
I first want to start off by saying imagine living in a place without clean water… no water to drink, shower in, brush your teeth with… etc etc. Think about how much we take for granted clean water on a daily basis. Yet unsanitary water is a reality for so many people around the world… I am so excited to share with you an organization who is trying to eradicate the water crisis in Africa called Blood:Water Mission.
Today is going to be a great post because this organization inspires me on so many levels. Like I said yesterday, Blood:Water Mission was the first international relief organization I ever really learned about. At the time I thought it was like one of the most revolutionary and incredible things I had ever heard of. It will always hold a special place in my heart and I will always think the work they do is absolutely amazing.
Blood:Water Mission began with a band you may have heard of [they have won a grammy and all], Jars of Clay. The band was touched by the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa and noted the connection between battling AIDS with the need for clean water. In 2005 they started the 1000 Wells Project in the United States to raise awareness and funding to provide clean water and sanitation to 1000 communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. They promoted the project through this equation: $1 = 1 year of clean water for 1 African Sounds simple & cheap enough right? The project was completed in 2010 after raising millions of dollars through individuals, churches, clubs, and organizations.
Being a student of International Studies, I have been lucky enough to learn about International Development– what works, what doesn’t, what should be done, etc etc. I am proud to say that Blood:Water Missions does it in a pretty incredible way, which is made obvious by their mission statement: empower communities to work together against the HIV/AIDS and water crisis in Africa. One thing I have learned in my studies is that development/relief needs to be localized. If you are simply giving someone a handout there is no empowerment which in turn creates a cycle of dependency and poverty. This is one thing that Blood:Water Mission understands. In their fight against both the HIV/AIDS and water crises, BWM takes these steps of action:
- Empowerment: BWM hopes to work with communities to realize their potential, self-worth and capabilities to lead them on a path of improvement.
- Partnership: BWM works with local organizations– building this partnership is one of the most crucial steps in the entire process.
- Implement: It is only through empowerment and partnerships that BWM is able to implement its water and HIV/AIDS programs.