I'm acutely aware of water at the moment, since we've been experiencing nigh-torrential downpouring since sometime last night. The fact that water is the subject of today's blog post, however, is purely coincidental, since I've had this planned since Tuesday.
Water.org was co-founded by two guys, Gary White and Matt Damon (yes, that Matt Damon). What they're trying to do is make sure that everyone around the world has access to clean, safe drinking and bathing water. Or, as their mission page reads in part,
We envision the day when everyone in the world can take a safe drink of water. It is easy to take for granted ready access to a safe supply of drinking water. Yet nearly one billion people lack this most basic commodity. Creating accessible, safe water supplies in developing countries liberates people to live healthier, fuller, more productive lives.
They've got all sorts of plans for how to do this. They find local partners in developing countries and work with them to figure out the best solutions to their water problems; rather than rushing in and saying "Here's what will work," they realize that the people who actually live where the problem is will have ideas about how to fix it. Then they get the members of the community involved. With education, appropriate technology, and lots of enthusiasm, they can do a lot.
It's also worth noting that in many countries, the task of transporting water from the source to the home where it will be used is often shouldered (literally and figuratively) by women. Water.org recognizes this fact, and so whenever they set up a new initiative, they make sure that several local women are included in the planning, brainstorming, and execution.
As you might expect, the effort to make sure all people have the clean water they need is a huge undertaking. They need all the help they can get. There's a whole section of their website dedicated to providing ideas for how you can be a part of their work, and I know someone who has jumped on board.
My good friend Daniela, as I have mentioned in a previous post, is the maintainer of Veni, Vidi, Eaty -- an Italian cooking blog she shares with her mother. Mom is Gianpaola Stinger, a fine artist in addition to an awesome cook, and mother and daughter have adopted this cause as their own.
Gianpaola sells her beautiful paintings on her website. Between March 15th and June 30th, 50% of the proceeds generated from any and all art sales on the website will be donated to Water.org. As part of their commitment to the cause, the Stingers will even be absorbing the shipping costs on purchases that benefit the organization. So please check out the website, browse the gallery, and maybe get yourself something pretty while at the same time making life better for someone else.