Social Justice Challenge Month 2: A Look at the Water Crisis

By February 1, 2010 culture, faith No Comments

Welcome to Month 2 of the Social Justice Challenge (SJC). The goal of the SJC is to foster learning about social justice issues through reading, and then to put feet to that newfound knowledge through some sort of action. (Learning is the easy part; it’s the action that’s difficult!)

The SJC hosts post a few introductory questions for participants to answer to kick off each month’s topic. My responses follow, and I highly recommend visiting SJC’s site to review other participant responses. A major component of this challenge is seeing things from someone else’s perspective so that we grow in our own.

For the next 28 days we will look at the water crisis around the world.

If you’ve spent any time around here, you may have noticed that the water crisis has broken me. My husband and I are tethered to this cause, heart and soul. I look forward to learning more, and I’m hopeful for how I might be led to serve so that more people would have access to fresh water.

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SJC: What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of water as a social justice issue?

With all our Western technology and wealth, it seems inexcusable for so many to go without access to clean water. Advent Conspiracy estimates just $10 billion would solve the world’s water crisis—permanently. To put this in perspective, U.S. citizens spend approximately $45 billion annually on Christmas gifts. What if we merely spent less on each other and donated the rest to solve this crisis?

SJC: What, if any, exposure have you personally had to a water shortage?

A few times our community has had droughts long enough to cause alarm, but it is nothing compared to what developing countries experience. (I had honestly forgotten about this until after I hit the publish button—then I came back to edit my post.) During these droughts, the water emits this nasty fishy smell. It’s awful for drinking and bathing, and although authorities claimed it was not dangerous to consume, many chose not to. I do not consider this a crisis, however—we had access to bottled water at the store if we wanted it.

I have learned about the water crisis around the world by reading up on and associating with various organizations that dig fresh water wells or provide cleansing systems. Those are:

Blood:Water Mission
Active:Water
Clean Water for Haiti
SIM
Advent Conspiracy
charity: water
ONE DROP

SJC: What potential action steps can you think of that relate to this month’s theme of water?

In January, I ran the Disney half marathon and joined Active:Water to raise money for water for the people of Africa. Active:Water partners with Blood:Water Mission, offering athletes an organized system for communicating their fund-raising goals and collecting donations. I’m seeking God’s lead on how to continue raising funds and awareness without pestering the same circle of loved ones time and again.

One idea is to track all my race entry fees throughout 2010 and then contribute that same amount to water efforts at the end of the year. Another idea is to collect change using B:W’s United for Change campaign materials.

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Join the SJC! Let’s read, act, and change together in 2010. Visit SJC HQ for details.

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