Grace Community Church Women's Ministries

More than 750,000 million people in the world don’t have access to clean water and more than 840,000 people die each year from diarrhea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene. Many of these precious casualties are children, their little bodies simply unable to fight the effects of diarrhea.

waterbucketIn places where water is scarce, women and their children walk many miles every day to collect drinking water for their families, water that isn’t really safe to drink. While they’re doing all that walking and carrying, they can’t go to school or start small businesses to help support the family.

Scientists, engineers, and NGO volunteers are working hard to solve this problem. They visit undeveloped countries where untreated sewage combines with rainwater to flow through villages and empty into lakes and bays where children play. Downstream, the contaminated water is used for drinking and irrigation of crops that are eaten raw. These dedicated scientists and engineers design and install cutting-edge systems to treat the wastewater, and big-hearted volunteers drill new wells in an effort to provide clean water to people living in villages located in the most isolated parts of the world. But progress is slow and more children die.

How can we non-science types help?

By saving the date — April 11, 2015 and meet up at the One-Mile Recreation Area for the annual Walk4Water fundraising event.

The event is coordinated by Bridging The Gap, a Chico-based non-profit organization that raises money and awareness for clean water in developing countries. Founder Shirley Adams works her fingers to the bone raising money for the cause she cares so much about.

If you haven’t participated in the Walk4Water in the past, make it a point to participate this year. And, bring the kids. There’s no better way to help them appreciate the blessing of a cold drink of water. They’ll also develop an acute awareness of the many children who are forced to lug heavy buckets of water every day just to survive. I don’t know about your kids, but mine used to complain about carrying a bag of groceries from the car into the house.

What’s so great about the Walk4Water is that it forces us to experience first-hand the walk for water that many women and children in developing nations take every day. After checking in at the starting point, you’ll carry a bucket to a half-way point along the walking route, fill it with water, then return to the starting point. Along the route you’ll stop at educational stations that provide information about the world’s clean water issues. Oh, yes. You’ll stop at ALL of them. It’s the only respectable excuse for putting your bucket down for a rest.

Make no mistake about it. This event dishes up a heapin’ helpin’ of reality –with an empathy chaser. It’s awesome.

We’ll post more information when the registration link is up. Meanwhile, you can visit the Bridging the Gap Facebook page for more information about what Shirley is up to right now.