At this time of the year, I find myself looking back at my own life, and feeling such gratitude for the blessings and the bounty which I have enjoyed. My life is rich, because I do not have to struggle to put a roof over my head or food on the table. I never worry if the water I am drinking is going to kill me. My husband has a job, and I am free to spend my time pursuing my greatest passion: writing. I spend 10 to 16 hrs a day at it, despite the fact that at this point, I am an as-yet unknown author and it doesn’t pay the bills. I can do this because my husband is the most supportive partner an author could have.
All of my life I have lived in a place where the water flows sweet and clean and there is plenty of it. I have the luxury of being able to bathe daily, do my laundry and drink as much water as I wish, whenever I wish. I have even been guilty of wasting this precious resource.
Unfortunately, for much of the world this is simply not the case. Millions of people go without clean water for drinking – and millions die from diseases brought on by drinking unclean water. Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that kills up to 120,000 people each year. Transmission is primarily due to the fecal contamination of food and water due to poor sanitation. This bacterium can, however, live naturally in any environment, and is often found in brackish water and places with heavy algal blooms.
The Haiti cholera outbreak began in late October 2010 in the rural Artibonite Department of Haiti,about 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of the capital, Port-au-Prince, killing 4672 people by March 2011 and hospitalizing thousands more. The outbreak followed a powerful earthquake which devastated the country on 12 January 2010. Haiti is a poor country, and the standard of life was very low even before the earthquake.
I feel that I needed to give something to the world, and I was privileged to be a part of a charity project, a book of short stories by various authors. I was asked to be the lead editor, and two of my own works were included in it. All the royalties for both the publisher and the authors was intended to go to the project, but the publisher we had at the time didn’t honor that commitment, and the project fell apart.
For 884 million people, having no access to a safe water supply is a daily reality. Every year 1.4 million children die from diarrhoeal diseases – diseases transmitted through contaminated water and poor hygiene practices. Every day more than 3,800 children die from a diarrhoeal disease; that means one child dies every 20 seconds.
Unsafe water sources that people are forced to use every day are killing thousands.
Samaritan’s Purse is attacking this travesty by installing BioSand Water Filter in homes throughout the developing world. These simple household water filters effectively remove up to 99 per cent of all water-borne pathogens, along with particulate matter. The result is water that is safe to drink, cook and clean with.
When I think of what it must be like to have no source of clean water, to have to walk for miles every day to get water that might be killing you, I am sad, and feel that there is a better way to resolve this, and we can find that way through charities like Samaritan’s Purse.
The other Project that I was privileged to be involved in is Alison DeLuca’s wonderful anthology, ‘Christmas O’Clock’. This is a collection of two novels and two short stories for the wonderful price of .99. This entertaining collection is perfect to read to your children over the christmas holidays. In addition to four heartwarming and funny stories, there is the added bonus of all proceeds being donated to the charity ‘Oxfam‘, an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice.
Together with individuals and local groups in more than 90 countries, Oxfam saves lives, helps people overcome poverty, and fights for social justice.
Oxfam envisions a just world without poverty. Their mission is to create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and social injustice.
As the year 2011 comes to an end I urge you to consider making a donation to either of these great charities. But if, like so many people, you wish to help, but only have a few dollars to spare, please consider pruchasing one or both of these fine books. The Kindle app for the pc is free, and you will be making a difference to someone, a person you may never meet, but who will thank you from the bottom of their hearts.