Gender issues have come into sharp focus in recent years, particularly in Africa. The African Union declared 2016 to be “The Year of Human Rights with a Special Focus on Women’s Human Rights.” Gender was a priority in the Millennium Development Goals and continues to be so in the new Sustainable Development Goals.
I started thinking about the upcoming 7 Gallon Challenge for World Water Day and what might be easy or difficult to cut back on. The easy one for me was fewer flushes a day. Living alone, no one else would be impacted by what sits for a while in my toilet!
Before I actually took the 7 Gallon Challenge, I decided to do a “test market”—going through my day, thinking consciously about my water usage and how it might feel to cut back on certain things. It didn’t take long to discover that the prospect of taking a short shower didn’t feel so great. As I stood under the hot, flowing water for a few minutes, my higher self said, “Enough, turn off the water!” But my body answered, “Don’t you dare!!”
For the week of March 7, Chadwick School’s Wells Bring Hope Club will be doing the Seven Gallon Challenge! Each day, we’ll be able to use only seven gallons of water for all daily activities (e.g. showering, washing hands, brushing your teeth, etc), and we’ll be sharing and reflecting on our experience via Facebook and Instagram. By limiting daily water use and documenting the experience, we (and the people we share our experiences with) will learn how little seven gallons of water actually is. They’ll also become more aware of the difficulty that many West Africans face in getting adequate amounts of water each day, and will learn to appreciate access to water rather than take it for granted.
The 1,000th well was drilled in Niger.
It is highly likely that you are getting ready for Christmas just now. I know I am. Despite being an atheist I’m, frankly, very willing to get involved in any festival that revolves around eating vast quantities of food. Heck, I’m not American either, but come Thanksgiving I can be found shoveling vast amounts of turkey into my face like a castaway who has happened to drift ashore on the fourth Thursday in November after months at sea.
Here was the news I received from the National Weather Service: “Excessive Heat Warning remains in effect. Maximum temperatures will reach 102 to 108 degrees in many locations in the valleys of Los Angeles.”
I made it alive. I successfully finished my 100 mile hike in my goal of 8 days. The journey was not without trials, though. There were moments where I thought continuing was not an option and failure was a sure thing. Now, as I have almost recovered from the physical injuries, I am able to look back on my once-in-a-lifetime journey and see it for what it really was.
Just a pinch of sound logic is enough to realize that denying educational opportunities, justice, and equal rights to women oppresses approximately half of the world’s population. The oppression of women misuses the scarce resource that is human brainpower and vastly inhibits the possibility of prosperity for many developing nations. It’s an equation that does not add up. On the noble quest to end global poverty, we are casting aside the very individuals that experience it and could be empowered to contribute meaningfully to the solution.
This is my first time writing a blog for Wells Bring Hope, having been a volunteer doing online research this summer before I go back to college. Recently I did some work with another organization that works to save wild horses. Although they are two very different organizations, the work that they do is more alike than different. Working with the horses helped to open my eyes to the severe conditions Wells Bring Hope is trying to alleviate.
Cassie Ballard hosted a wonderful fundraiser at The Woodman on July 29th to raise money for Wells Bring Hope.