Guest post: Celebrating Clean Water

Guest post of the day is from my buddy Erin Swanson, Communications & New Media Coordinator for water.org (my favorite organization). She wrote this for World Water Day, which was technically yesterday (my wordpress was down…), but the celebration and awareness is still going on!

Jennifer was on this water thing before I even entered the picture. More than three years ago, she was advocating for those in need of clean water. When God put this passion in my life, I heard about Jennifer and her passion for it from a friend. And then, as I began to work with Water.org in the summer of 2008 [then called WaterPartners, before merging with Matt Damon’s H20 Africa to become Water.org in July 2009], I had the great pleasure of connecting with Jenn many a time, who was an active online voice for the issue. Nothing has changed 🙂

Today is World Water Day, and Jenn asked if I wanted to write a guest post. For her? Of course! (I still can’t believe we’ve never met in person. Someday 🙂 )

Just over a week ago I returned from my first trip to Haiti with Water.org. We were in a rural area in the north called Pignon. I accompanied three popular YouTube video bloggers – Hank Green, Lisa Nova, and Timothy Delaghetto – to visit communities who had broken wells [from previous groups; the communities did not know who had originally put the wells in. Some had been broken for years]. But these communities are organizing themselves to do what they can to fix it. We are about to begin well rehabilitation projects in each of these communities with our certified local partner, Haiti Outreach. The YouTubers documented the trip and made some fantastic videos to elevate the issue and invite their audiences to join them in making a difference for World Water Day.

In celebration of the day, I wanted to share with you two of their great videos that really give you a feel of the places we visited, and the process these communities will go through! I was amazed by our local partner, their solid model, great reputation in Haiti, and the initiative of the communities to take ownership of these projects. I learned a lot, and have been impassioned even more to talk about the importance of community ownership to achieve sustainability, upon my return.

So thanks for letting me share it with you, here! So grab a glass of water, possibly a friend or nearby unsuspecting coworker, and enjoy:

Lisa Nova

Hank Green

Happy World Water Day! I am grateful to work beside you and reach even more people in need with clean water and the dignity of a toilet.

Cheers,
Erin Swanson
Communications & New Media Coordinator, Water.org
@explodingsoul

P.S. If you want to Donate Your Voice on Facebook or Twitter this week in the name of clean water for all, I’d love for you to join me and millions of others online, here: http://water.org/waterday.

P.P.S. Groupon is running a deal today and tomorrow so you can help us bring seven communities clean water! If you donate $15, an anonymous donor matches $10  http://www.groupon.com/deals/water-org

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