International (MNN) — Unlike war and terrorism, the global water
crisis does not make media headlines, despite the fact that "lack of clean
water kills more people than guns, wars, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes,
combined," says Kathy Redmond with Compassion International. "For Compassion, one of the statistics that we use is that a child under five dies
of a water-related disease every 15 seconds."
When a billion people in the world already live in chronic hunger,
and 780 million people still lack access
to safe water, the problem touches the community at home, too.
The travesty is that it's a silent crisis borne on the backs of
the poor and tolerated by those with the resources and power to end it. Enter: World Water Day. It's meant to raise
awareness, but success would be defined through action or change. For that to happen, sometimes people have to encounter
the problem. Redmond explains that's why
they issued the 1-Gallon Challenge. "The campaign that we're doing on
World Water Day is to see if people can go through one day
using one gallon of water–that's one gallon of water for your bathing,
cleaning, drinking, and for your sanitation."
As part of the solution, Compassion International works in
partnership with local churches. They
identify children who are in need of safe water and provide them with
Compassion's Water of Life: a simple but powerful system that gives a child a
lifetime of safe water. Redmond
explains, "These filters are very small, very uncomplicated, with a five-gallon bucket attached to
it. But it cleans water."
Redmond goes on to say that through the filters, "We've been able
to provide clean water for all the children in Haiti that are our
beneficiaries. They all have these systems in their homes. We're doing the same
thing in Rwanda, and in other African countries as well
as Central American countries." $55
provides a Water of Life system: safe water for life (over 1 million gallons)
for a child and his or her family in developing countries. The Water of Life system also provides education on improving
hygiene and sanitation.
That's the first connection between
clean water and Compassion. Care about
Compassion comes from concern about the most vulnerable group affected by lack
of clean water. Care about children = care
The second connection is between
Living Water and Compassion. Redmond
says that a partnership with the ministry Living Water International means
water wells for a needy community. In addition,
"that water well will go onto the church property so that people will
end up going to the church for water. At that point, they see the church
again as a center point to their community and providing for their needs."
Change nearly always comes as a
result. It's not about Compassion's
name, either. "[Recipients] don't know it's coming from Compassion: they know it's coming from the church. So
it's vital for any community, and from that, there is absolutely a spiritual
component to it." Compassion's
Water of Life hopes to serve millions of children and families in the 26
countries where Compassion works every day. Look for the link at our
Featured Links section.