Water is crucial part of life. Each morning I shower, brush my teeth, flush the toilet, fill up my water bottle, maybe run the dish washer. Going without clean water is something that cannot be ignored. It is an absolute necessity of life that everybody should have access to. Clean water is used not only for drinking but for sanitation and hygiene, cooking, irrigation for agriculture, washing clothes, etc. Having a lack of clean water affects every area of life.
Instead of going to school, millions of children spend their days carrying heavy water containers full of water for their families. If they do get to attend school they don’t get any second chances. We constantly are able to re-write tests, upgrade or take another course. This is not the same story for most children and youth in poverty. School is already very expensive, and some country’s only offer education at an elementary level. Without education, you can find yourself bound to a life of poverty. Education is an amazing opportunity, but how can you experience that amazing opportunity if you can’t even live through it with your water situation?
If you were a child who spends their life walking for water, you would return home only to have water that is dirty and teaming up with disease and parasites. Often water is drawn from sources used by cattle and other animals so it is mixed with feces and mud. This means that sickness and death are a constant threat in communities that don’t have clean water. Because of the poverty of communities that lack clean water, when they do get sick they either can’t afford or don’t have access to adequate medical care. Every day nearly 5,000 children die from water related illnesses – that means one child dies approximately every 20 seconds, making lack of clean water one of the most lethal forces in the world today.
Now that you know this about water, does it begin making you value your water a little more? We are a culture that is becoming desensitized to the world around us. Choosing to be neutral in situations of injustice or where humans beings are being suffering, is choosing to help the oppressor. Being silent and inactive, never helps the victim.
“Where you live, should not determine whether you live.” – Bono, main vocalist of the Irish rock band U2. All humans need water to live. We live in a very fortunate country where going without clean water is a worry that never crosses our minds. By doing Walk for Water, you are freeing people from that worry. Providing clean water is an essential step towards building a hope for a better future. When we, as a McNally community, rally together and get involved in the water project we are choosing not to be silent. Our seemly small act, when multiplied by hundreds of people can transform the world. When one person stands up for another human being, and says “This is not how it should be. This is wrong.” It helps others do the same.
To all of the McNally students who are participating in Walk for Water. I admire your character. Character is how you treat people who can do nothing for you. It is true love, when somebody’s else happiness is your happiness. You are doing what other people don’t do, so that tomorrow you can do what other people can’t do. Thank you for being a world changer, and casting a stone that will create a ripple effect!
*Note: If you are attending Thursday’s Walk for Water please remember to bring your own pair of 2 or 4 L milk jugs*