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By Scott Harrison, Founder of charity: water
President Obama mentioned the work of charity: water at his speech at the 2011 National Prayer Breakfast. Why?
Why water? Right now, nearly a billion people are living without access to clean and safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us. In countries where we work, water affects everything in life. Women spend their days walking for it. Kids miss school to collect it for their families, from sources likely to make them sick. Food supply dwindles in its absence; economies suffer without it.
In four years, we’ve funded over 3,800 water projects to provide more than 1.7 million people in 17 countries with access to clean and safe drinking water. Along the way, we’ve formed a movement to fight the water crisis: we have more than 100,000 individual donors and 13,000 individuals raising funds on their own for the cause.
Our goal is to reinvent charity: we use 100% of all public donations to directly fund water projects on the ground and we prove each completed project with GPS coordinates plotted on Google Maps. We use social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to help share our message; we keep things simple and empower our supporters to make our story their own.
There’s a proverb in the Bible that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” There are certainly too many people still dying from diseases caused by dirty water, but could that be because we’re terrified to tackle the enormous? Because we don’t have the faith to see the entire problem solved? I disagree. We have ambitious goals at charity: water. As President Obama mentioned in his speech, we want to provide 100 million people with access to clean, safe drinking water within 10 years. Learn how we’re doing it and join us at charitywater.org.