Our family often goes to lunch after church on Sunday, but this week we will staying after service and buying slices of pizza for $2 each. We’ll probably eat standing up and chatting with others around us, and all there will be to drink will be water.
The reason is every three months or so the children host a “Pizza-4-Water” Sunday. We buy the pizzas for $5 each, and the profit goes to the “Ally Project,” started by a 14-year-old who decided to raise money to build a well in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
Ally Schrader was on a 30-hour fast at a youth retreat in early 2012 when she learned that children in Burkina Faso, already malnourished, must carry buckets of dirty water long distances home to their families to drink. For her upcoming birthday, instead of presents Ally asked for donations that would go to a well-digging missions agency with which her church partners. She received $300, and grew it to $8000—enough to build one well.
A man in our church who grew up in Nigeria once talked about having to walk to the nearest water source each day as a child to carry home the family’s water. It was about five miles each way. One day, almost home, he fell and spilled all the water. He had to start all over. He cried when it happened, and I cried when he recounted his story. That was the first time the Ally Project was introduced to our church.
But his story is a common one in many parts of the world—children traveling many miles a day to get water, or families drinking from stagnant pools—either because their wells have dried up or the rains have caused them to cave in.
- Most people have to walk 3-5 miles a day to get water
- Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness
- Women spend 200 million hours a day collecting water
- More than 3 times more people lack water than live in the United States
- 3.4 million people die each year from lack of clean water
- 1 in 6 babies will be born into a life with no clean water
The lack of water has many rippling effects. When children spend most of the day bringing home water, they can’t go to school. They can’t get a job, and the cycle continues. Without water, you can’t grow food. You can’t build housing. You can’t improve the community. And on and on…
1 in 6 babies …
There are any number of organizations dedicated to making sure more people have access to clean water. Pick one. Maybe sell some pizza. But do something. Because…
one in six … we can change that.