When I ten years old, I lost 10 pounds in 10 days because I was incapable of keeping fluids in compliments of giardia, a diarrheal disease. When I learned to camp on the Sinai, my family planned and packed every drop of water we would use.
I have long chosen to fight for water. I choose to do so because as a child it was a reality and I believed a place where I could make a difference. My passion first took me through three degrees and field academic research in Haiti and West Africa focused on water. I began to work alongside Africans — serving as a consultant and a friend rather than a leader or boss — something I continue to strive to do.
Now I fight for water through my work with Blood:Water Mission where I am the Africa Field Manager. We have amazing partners in Sub-Saharan Africa who address the water crisis through sustainable community development. I help them build out their programs, challenging them towards excellence in community development through many long conversations and field visits. I capture their stories through words, photos, and video for our fundraisers and advocates who give generously of their time, effort, and money to make it all possible.
If someone told you that nearly a billion people lack access to safe water, would you understand that number? I would not. The most recent number from the World Health Organization is actually 900 million people. I could try to help you understand what 900 million is, but it is too big and abstract. What is not too big and abstract is one person’s story. One story — through words or photo or video — and the number is real. This is what I do; the number becomes real and suddenly both you and I have a reason to fight.
My website is where I share my journey through life. It is the meeting place of where I fight for water, fight to make the numbers become people, and where I simply live. It is a journey that I hope you find enough value in to follow from time to time. I have not filled this post with stats and stories and photos. I do not need to because my whole blog is filled with them — in the context of people’s stories. I invite you to join that journey. You will learn more along the way and, I hope, the numbers will become real through story.
Thank you for voting for me so that I can give $15,000 to Blood:Water Mission’s water work in Africa. Why them you ask? Because they choose to walk alongside African partners and to dignify individuals through sharing stories of hope rather than despair. Because, through their African partners, people’s water situation is being changed every day — one person, one story at a time.
Please follow my Change Agent story on Changents.
Note: This is a guest post from Dr. Pamela E. Crane. Dr. Crane is a community development practitioner who focuses on safe water in Africa. She is the Africa Field Manager for Blood:Water Mission and has extensive experience living and traveling international. Votes and social media shares for Pamela’s winning blog post in the P&G GIVE HEALTH Clean Water Blogivation generated 8893 days of clean drinking water that will be donated by P&G to people in the developing world.
photo credit: Blood:Water Mission
by Pamela Crane, PhD., Blood:Water Mission