The Affero Blog
How many times have I flushed the toilet today?
Today I’ve had a shower, washed my hands, washed the dishes (I am a real man), been to the bathroom, washed my car, drank water from the tap and watered my (dying) oh-so-thriving plants.
I like flushing the toilet. I really like it when my kids flush the toilet (hint hint:my son Samuel). I like hot showers.
I take water for granted. And why not? It’s always there…
Or is it?
Across our planet, 884 million people lack access to clean water. That’s just a statistic, right? Until you meet the someone who doesn’t have access to clean water, and we met many of those somebodies during our trip in Uganda.
Me and a Village in the North of Uganda
Lucas, Marc and I set out to visit a village near Lira. We drove in on a psycho rough road ending up spectacularly bogged in a creek. It was amusing. At first.
We went forward. Reversed. Wheels spinning but no progress. Marc and Lucas bounced and yahoo-ed on the back of the car while reversing (not exactly sure who’s idea that was!!?!). Finally, after an hour we spluttered out.
The little village had several huts which made up this impoverished community. As we drove in, the children came running out. The kids were pumped to see visitors, but seemed to hold a sadness. In fact, the whole village has a haunting story – it had only just been resettled. The villagers had returned from spending several years in an IDP(Internal displaced people’s) camp.
An IDP camp(a term new to me) is like a refugee camp except your within your own country. You are internally displaced.
The LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) reeked havoc on this community: killing and stealing children for their war.
The people told us that they were devastated and constantly worried the army would return, so they hadn’t resettled or planted their crops properly. They lacked a hope for the future, wearily hanging onto existence.
Until this trip, I didn’t quite realise how not having access to clean water impacted peoples lives. The people were drinking water that makes them sick, the children were most vulnerable. Until Lifewater International partnered with another organisation and helped out. It was still evident that many of the kids were malnourished and several of them had swollen bellies from worms. This well is bringing hope back to the community and saving lives.
In this region of Uganda only 46% of people have access to clean drinking water.
Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease. (What the!? That’s insane!)
In the developing world, 24,000 children under the age of five die every day from preventable causes like diarrhea contracted from unclean water. 1.4 million children die as a result of diarrhea each year.
How you can make an impact:
Vote for clean water on The Affero Project
It’s been said that many hands make work light. That’s so true.
Anyone who knows Lucas knows he has a heart for justice. He goes into schools and churches sharing how young people can make a tremendous difference in our world. He offers engaging mult-media presentations that challenge us to tackle problems facing humanity such as poverty, human trafficking, child soldiers, famine, disease, clean water and more. How can you not love this guy?
As I type this post, I’m reminded of an African proverb that says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, take someone with you.” The Affero Project is a team effort. Already, a community of talented and inspired people are lending a hand and leading the way forward. If you are reading this post, you are a part of the team.
Welcome aboard! And don’t forget to share with others what you’ve found. Tell your friends about The Affero Project. We are community against poverty and injustice, committed to bring hope, sustainable change, and empowering communities all over the world.
Thank you for joining the movement. We are going far together. You have already lifted a hand in significant ways. God bless you!
David and Amanda Rodriguez, owners of Guaranteed Gutter & Siding in Nashville, approached me about a year ago and plopped down the initial seed money to develop afferoproject.com. Without their early vision and generous gift, where would we be?
Ben, Josh and Shannon at Mellowtown navigated Lucas and I through the various twists and turns of taking our ideas and putting them into a well developed and functioning website. It’s beautiful, don’t you think?
Have you seen our introductory video donated by StoneKap? Or the “I’M IN” campaign video? Incredible. My wife caught me watching it over and over yesterday. It’s phenomenal. It captures so well the heart of what we’re doing. I LOVE IT!
When in Ohio making a presentation, Lucas met Joe. Then Beau, our very own Chief Affangelist, reinforced the tie with the StoneKap team. Soon after, the entire crew of this full service production company jumped in with both feet! I’m blown away by their inventive and creative direction. Thank you Chad, Tom, Shelvia, Dave, Joe, John, Derek, Kevin, Beau, Kevin D., and Robert for your creative work and for your generosity.
This is a blog post and not War and Peace. So I’ll sign off now. Thanks for checking in and watch for more posts to come. Don’t forget to share Affero with your friends and don’t forget to sign up and say “I’M IN!”.
Polio was once a widespread disease which affected life in every country in the world. Its rapid spread was made possible by the virus’ contagious nature, passed on in much the same was as a common cold. Combined world efforts have helped to almost crush the virus from existence in many countries… but still more work and research is needed.
Today, polio eradication efforts are among the most successful global health initiatives out there. Over the past 20 years, the World Health Organization has spent $5 billion to immunize two billion children against the disease, relegating the condition in most places to the dustbin of cultural history. Incredibly, the global number of polio cases has fallen to fewer than 2,000 new cases a year. Polio these days is still endemic in just four countries: Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan.
But while momentum to stop polio has been largely successful, global health advocates say that without complete eradication, over 10 million children will be paralyzed in the next 40 years. To read more click here.
Polio still affects the lives of many… lets unite and help those affected by this crippling disease!
- 33.4 million living with HIV
- 2.7 million new infections of HIV
- 2 million deaths from AIDS
Approximately 7 out of 10 deaths for 2008 were in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region that also has over two-thirds of adult HIV cases and over 90% of new HIV infections amongst children.
Looking over recent years, UNAIDS finds some improvements, such as reductions in deaths from AIDS and of new incidences of HIV infections. Yet, were it not for the politics and other problems throughout the past couple of decades, perhaps means more lives could have been saved.
The AIDS page has been updated with newer graphs and charts.