Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Than a Drop in the Ocean

So many in need. 

So many charities. 

How do you decide which to help?
How do you separate the ones who, according to reports, have people stealing money behind the scenes? How do you decide between supporting a charity that raises money for research into heart disease, because it stole your dad, or breast cancer, because the gene might be inherent in your family?
There are some charities that receive a huge amount of money, simply because they are the most prominent names in the headlines. Of course, they are worthy, but there are many others out there in need of funds, and how do you choose which to support? There are millions the world over who need aid from those of us who have so much more, and the efforts of Comic Relief, Sports Relief et al, have brought the tragedies taking place on a daily basis to the public’s attention – and raised huge amounts of money for them – in a way that they might not otherwise have done.
Many of these charities raise money for countries that have no food: where babies are dying of starvation and dehydration every minute of every day. There are millions who do not know the joy of turning on a tap and receiving fresh, clean water every day, and, while this has always struck me as something of a luxury, this week it hit me with a blinding disbelief that others do not share what we take for granted.
We take it for granted in our baths, showers and sanitised swimming pools; we boil our vegetables in it, sure in the knowledge that we will not be contaminated by what lurks within; it pours forth from our taps to counter a stomach upset, thirst after exercise, a hangover. 

With a one second twist of our hand, we have the greatest luxury the world has to offer, and, for the most part, we don’t even acknowledge it.
I have not spoken to anyone at wateraid.org, but I am urging you to spread the word and to offer help in any way you can. In particular, check out the daily life of women, on whom the onus is to collect water from miles away – and not very sanitised water, at that.
There are so many ways in which it is possible to become involved. Never did the Rime of the Ancient Mariner have any more poignancy than now: “Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.”
Like I said, I have not spoken to anyone at this organisation, but let’s not take that turning on of our taps and having the miracle of water our forth so effortlessly into our lives, for granted.
Let’s make water not only a blessing, but the right, of everyone the world over.

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