International (MNN) — The world's water crisis affects millions of humanity's most vulnerable every year: infants.
"People that don't have safe drinking water tend to be the poorest billion people on earth. And for them, infant morbidity rates are through the roof," explains Paul Darilek with Living Water International.
Unsafe drinking water is frequently associated with diseases, including easily preventable illnesses like diarrhea. Yet even preventable diseases have proven to be fatal for infants.
"Diarrhea, which we think of as an inconvenience, is one of the world's biggest killers," notes Darilek. "Pneumonia and diarrhea together account for 40 percent of all infant deaths."
The sad truth is: both killers can be prevented. Diarrhea, in particular, can be stopped with the scrub of a hand.
"Just hand-washing with soap at critical times–the critical times are before eating, after going to the bathroom, and after changing a baby–just doing that can reduce incidents of diarrhea by 40 percent," says Darilek.
With this knowledge in hand, Living Water has embarked on a campaign to decrease infant mortality rates.
Choose Life is designed to reach out to at-risk communities instructing, partnering with locals, and building relationships. Living Water disseminating truth about hygiene, and about making the water-salt-sugar formula Oral Rehydration Solution–a revolutionary solution known to be the medical break through of the twentieth century, which adequately rehydrates to stop diarrhea.
As Living Water gets more deeply involved in the community, relationships are built, providing abundant opportunities to share the Gospel.
The Choose Life campaign is part of a new initiative to focus on specific area development zones in which Living Water works, to better hone in on relationships, and to look for broader water coverage throughout communities. It's all part of five-year strategy created with the input of Living Water staff, donors, board members, mission-trip participants, and even those who have received Living Water wells. View the strategy here.
Choose Life provides opportunities to save lives by teaching mothers and families how to best care for their infants and for themselves. You can be a part of this life-giving work by sponsoring a well with your church, running for Team Living Water in a race, getting involved in Advent Conspiracy, going on a trip, and more. For more involvement ideas, visit water.cc or e-mail someone at [email protected]
"When we all kind of spread the word, it starts to actually feel easy. It starts to feel like the body of Christ could take on the world's biggest problems, like the world's water crisis."