Author Archives: Dylan Rainwalker

About Dylan Rainwalker

I am on a mission to walk around the world raising awareness and funds for projects providing clean water for the nearly 1 billion people on earth who currently lack life’s most vital resource. I became passionate about discovering solutions for global problems in 2005 upon graduating high school when I observed and learned information about the issues and incredible suffering caused by poverty throughout our world. It confounded my reason how some could have so much wealth, while others could not even access clean water, food, educational information, and other needs vital to life's ability to exist. I learned the daunting statistics of how many children die every day from disease and problems that can easily and simply be solved with the technology and resources we are provided from planet earth.

Come together, regardless of differences, to solve problems.

I was 18 years old standing in the back of my high school church youth group when my mind got to thinking. At this age I was first beginning to become aware of issues happening globally as opposed to only my own nation or community.  A desire grew within to gain understanding of any perspective which I had yet to experience or understand.  I wanted to truly see things from the perspective of the homeless, the child dying from disease in Africa, and the wealthy businessman.

My search for understanding of wider perspective was based largely on the desire to discover why problems of poverty (and by contrast excessive luxury) exist in our world at all. I wanted to gain understanding of what reality truly is.

Standing in the back of that sanctuary, the phrase came to mind: “bring people together, no matter what our differences, to solve global problems.” I was considering the incredible suffering happening around the world, contrasted by the bickering and petty divisions within groups of faith over what they should believe and do. It boggled my reason how we could allow differences to separate us from doing what we should be doing – helping those in greatest need.

The observance of divisions in that moment of 2005 is something which I can say has perhaps had the most profound impact on the way I view and interact with the world. Each individual form of existence we call a human being is of course, different. How our differences shape our point of view can be starkly at odds. When we see a difference we can respond by absorbing understanding of a difference, as though the difference in someone else is merely another aspect of ourselves, or, we can allow differences to lead to a judgmental view of what appears to be separate in form from who we are.

The greatest unity comes from the greatest differences which are brought together in relationship. Judgmentalism demands unity through conformity, but if everything is conformed to one image there really isn’t any unity, because unity means two differences being joined together. In conformity, differences are extinguished.

Our own differences can often lead us to become insecure. We have manufactured concepts of beauty and what a person is supposed to look like to be considered respectable. When we do not look the way we think we are supposed to look we might be convinced to purchase beauty products, plastic surgeries, or anything which may help us to be more accepted by outer society. But when we embrace our differences, as though each difference is uniquely beautiful in its own way, the entire world becomes more beautiful as we are able to see the fascinating wonders of existence.

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Charity Marketing 101

One thing you will learn if you’ve ever studied or been provided charity marketing training is that donors are more likely to give to your cause if instead of sharing statistic about the vast numbers of people suffering from a particular aspect of extreme poverty; you share a story about a single individual and what the suffering is which they go through in their daily life.

Although this philosophy in inspiring generosity has been proven be effective for generating that pull of the emotional heart-string to perhaps promote, perhaps guilt someone into donating their dollars to your cause I think that there is a complete lack of rationality and vision in this approach.

The story of a single individual elicits the capacity for others to see themselves directly connected with what another person goes through in their life.  We hear about “Jane Smith” walking 8 miles everyday simply to procure the contaminated water her family needs to survive for one more day, and we can identify with her not necessarily through our own experience, but by the fact that we see her humanity. When presented with statistics like the one that 1 billion people on earth have daily routines like Jane Smith’s, to greater or lesser degrees of effort, and vast statistic passes over our brains. It’s a number truly too large for us to wrap out minds around.

I think this general perception of “emotions over reality” could be doing a great disservice to the problems of poverty we face and the solutions we need to support to solve problems in our world and see that all people have the basic needs of life met. We hear politicians often utilize this philosophy when they tell us about an individual who benefited from a particular piece of legislation that the same politician just so happened to have said would help people. But of course in any case of action we can find those who benefit and those who have been harmed, which speaks to the narrow-minded-folly of believing int he individualized story philosophy of marketing.

A statistic of 1 billion people lacking access to clean water should actually magnify and multiply our emotions of what we feel for that Jane Smith walking 8 miles for a bucket of contaminated water. In fact, it should multiply that feeling by 1 billion. When we hear the numbers we must see beyond their symbolic abstract representation into the 1 billion faces. My call is not to reject our emotions, but to fully embrace as they should be felt so that we may see the global picture of what is happening in our world beyond the advertising gimmick created in hopes of getting a few more people to give to our cause.

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Update on Upcoming Oregon Coast Trail Walk for Clean Water

manzanitaI’m getting set to begin a walk of the 382 mile Oregon Coast Trail in a few weeks, for the purpose of raising awareness and funds for projects working to end poverty through enabling access of clean water for the nearly 1 billion people on earth lacking life’s most essential resource.

I thought i would share a few updates on the preparation, ways you can follow or support my walk, and possibilities of what I’ll be doing once the walk has been completed.

  • I am incredibly honored and grateful to Teton Sports who has generously sponsored my walk with a tent and other camping equipment I will be using and reviewing along this journey.
  • If you have a business or organization and would like to sponsor my walk, please contact me to discuss ways you can become a sponsor and thank you benefits I offer sponsors in return for their support.
  • As of last night I have launched a website (www.dylanrainwalker.com) for displaying the solutions my walk supports through partnerships with non-profit organizations working to provide access of clean water in places of greatest need.
  • I have connected with the non-profit organization Water1st.org to support their projects in Ethiopia.

Ways to Follow My Walk

The best way to follow my walk is to subscribe to my weekly newsletter by entering your email address at www.dylanrainwalker.com. I will also be frequently updating my walking blog here with stories, photos, and videos, as well as updates on twitter.

Ways to Support My Walk

Spread The Word.
Share the information found at www.dylanrainwalker.com with your friends on twitter and facebook. By sharing my walk you are not only raising awareness for what I am doing, but for the issues of poverty and the need for clean water around the world.

Walk With Me.
If you’re available and able, I welcome anyone and everyone to join me for any portion of this walk of the Oregon Coast. Contact me to discuss where you might like to walk and I look forward to meeting and sharing the grand experience of walking!

Sponsorship.
You can sponsor my walk as a business, organization, or individual. Your sponsorship is what enables me to walk and continue my work connecting with organizations, discover solutions, and working to see that those solutions are fully supported to start impacting the lives of people in need of clean water. Learn more about becoming a sponsor.

 

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A Billboard to Change the World

clean water billboardIn Bujama, Peru, a small village with an oppressive climate located just south of Peru’s capital city of Lima, people who have lacked access to clean water in the past are now gaining access through quite an innovative technology – a billboard.

The billboard was developed by MediaConnection BPN (part of IPG Mediabrands ) and Mayo DraftFCB for UTEC, the University of Technology and Engineering in Peru at a cost of $32,600. It works by using panels which trap the humidity within air and transforms it into clean and safe water for people living in the region.

The water is stored in the top of the structure and then filtered through a pipe to the ground below where it can be withdrawn from a tap for any person who happens to pass by the giant sign.

Below is a video about this achievement in providing clean water to people in need. Now if we could only achieve the same benefits from television advertising 🙂

Clear Channel Peru: World’s first water-making billboard from Clear Channel International on Vimeo.

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The Revolution of Freedom

human-kind-300x300The world is in a time of revolution: a tipping point of transition from what has been known to what will be seen. People are coming to the understanding that systems on earth which have existed for thousands of years; systems of debt, power, and control, are being replaced by systems of equalizing value for human life, freedom, and opportunity to work together toward a world of peace.

The people are rising to overcome and overpower circumstances and conditioning, protesting corruption and lies. Lies that when believed gave place for the enslavement of humanity’s spirit which is intended to be filled with love for every fellow human being. The new order of the earth is an orderly spirit of freedom where one man does not dictate the actions of another but views each life as something to be treasured and given the freedom for each person to choose their actions of goodwill, celebration, and enjoyment of life with each other.

Love is only known when we allow others to discover love through freedom. For too long we have used “I’m only human” as an excuse to hurt others through ignorance and self-servitude. But only in serving others do we truly serve ourselves. Only in lifting others to the potential of each person’s identity, do we find peace with who we ourselves truly are – as beings made to love one another.

We must not compromise the truth of who we are as found in love for one another. We must not compromise the hope of peace. We must not give place for doubt reducing our vision to mere circumstances which pervade, pervert, and limit what we know this earth to be capable of being and providing. The earth is a place made for life to flourish, for poverty to be eliminated, and for prosperity of all life on earth to be known.

For too long humanity has been enslaved to disease, lacking the very vitals of water, food, and shelter. We must join together, people from all walks, differences, and beliefs, to be united in one belief of love, compassion, and generosity. One belief that human beings should not be forced to suffer like this when solutions are simple and evident. But we need to recognize that the answer dwells within each one of us. The answer for problems in our world dwells within every heart to know the truth of what we are here to do. That we are made to live in harmony with each other and all of life, giving up excess in order that all might have access to the basic needs of life. Giving up our own agendas and taking up the agenda to love our fellow human beings.

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UN chief condemns violence in Egypt, urges security forces to respect human rights

un_chief_ban_ki_moon

The Secretary-General appeals to all the people of Egypt to address their differences through dialogue and again renews his calls to all parties to engage in an inclusive and meaningful reconciliation process.

27 July 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned the deadly upsurge of violence in Egypt and called on security forces to respect the right to free speech and assembly while urging protesters to demonstrate peacefully.

 

Protests on Friday and Saturday have left scores of people dead and hundreds others injured.

 

“The Secretary-General once again calls on the interim authorities to assume full responsibility for the peaceful management of the demonstrations and ensure the protection of all Egyptians,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.

 

He added that Egypt’s security forces must act with full respect for human rights, including guaranteeing the rights to free speech and assembly.

 

Mr. Ban also urged demonstrators to exercise restraint and preserve the peaceful nature of their protests.

 

“The Secretary-General appeals to all the people of Egypt to address their differences through dialogue and again renews his calls to all parties to engage in an inclusive and meaningful reconciliation process,” according to the statement.

 

Mr. Ban underlined that violence is not a substitute for a political solution and, therefore, “calls on all Egyptian leaders to put the interest of Egypt above all individual, group and political interests.”

 

The crisis in the country escalated earlier this month, resulting in the Egyptian military deposing President Mohamed Morsi amid widespread protests in which dozens of people were killed and wounded. The Constitution was then suspended and an interim government set up.

 

Mr. Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood leaders currently in detention should immediately be released or have their cases reviewed in full transparency, Mr. Ban urged in the statement.

 

He also expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims in the latest round of protests and wished the wounded a speedy recovery.

 

Yesterday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay stressed that it is extremely important that security forces in Egypt do not resort to excessive use of force, and that her office would be closely following how the situation develops.

 

Original article can be found at UN.org

 

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How Desalination Works and Can Transform More than Seawater

Desalination-3Desalination is the process by which salt is removed from seawater enabling water from the ocean to be transformed into a fresh drinkable source for human life. Only a small percentage, 2.5% to be precise, of all water on earth is freshwater and suitable for drinking. Water covers around 70% of the earth, which means that 97.5% of the abundant supply of water available is being utilized.

Water is a resource that many of us rarely give much of a thought about. We walk into our kitchens, turn on a faucet and wash our hands or fill our glass. How often do we consider that nearly 1 billion people on earth do not have access to water, and those who do generally must walk for miles simply to fill buckets with water that is contaminated, leading to disease and ultimately, death?

Desalination is a viable solution to change the suffering of millions around the world. With desalination we possess the capability of not only transforming seawater into freshwater, but we have the ability to transform communities from being riddled by disease into communities of people with access to resource most crucial for life to exist at all – water.

Some will cite expense as being a main restriction in utilizing the desalination process as a true solution of providing safe freshwater to meet the human world’s needs. However, when we have the technology available to meet the needs of life on earth, I am of the persuasion that anything we may use as an excuse to implement technology for the betterment of mankind is a sign that our priorities may be greatly disordered.

In this brief Ted Talk by Damian Palin he shares some helpful information on “Seawater reverse osmosis”, also known as desalination:

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What The World Needs Now

Mao of Cell Phone Coverage Through Sprint Around the World

Mao of Cell Phone Coverage Through Sprint Around the World

Humanity. We have created and developed technologies and machinery that has enabled us to do things that our ancestors of centuries past may have barely if at all ever envisioned possible.

We have sent ourselves to the moon using what we call spacecraft, eliminated diseases and viruses through medicine, and connected nearly the entire world with a tool of communication called the internet.

With every new technological invention and development comes two choices in how we use that technology. Within atomic physics we may possess the ability to provide free energy enabling life to thrive like never before on the earth. But also within atomic physics we have reached a point in history of possessing the capability to destroy the planet that we have never known.

With the internet we can communicate, learn, and discover relationships and friendships and work together no matter where we are physically located. But with this powerful tool for sharing information we can also utilize the virtual world to waste hours watching pornography and participate in the practice cyber-bullying.

Technology brings about both the best and the worst of humanity. The way in which we use the tools we have accentuate what we think about and how we think in regards to how we use things to shape the way we live. Some look at a tool and consider how it might be used to help others live better, others look at a tool and consider how they might use it for their own betterment. Seeking one’s own betterment, in one sense is not bad, but in doing so we often neglect to recognize or we ignore the unforeseen impact our actions may cause in seeking our own personal profit.

The more intertwined humanity’s way of life has become with technological devices has contributed to shaping the way we think and the way we live. In 1980 the average American home had 3 computing devices. Today the average home has 25. Certainly, computers have provided a certain amount of freedom from time-consuming tasks which can now be performed in a matter of milliseconds by a computer. In our fast-paced world of super-computing power we are connected instantly with the world and can share everything happening in our lives with those we call “friends” online.

I would argue that the instantaneous capacity for communicating and sharing information with one another is an incredible mechanism for building relationships. But as individuals at the helms of our machines send information to one another could it be that we become, at least a little bit, less human in how we interact? When more and more of our communication is happening through text-form we are utilizing a severely limited form of true relational communication. We start dating through text, breakup through text, arrange meetings through text, and many conduct most of their daily conversations with others through text. If you’ve ever attempted to use sarcasm in humor through text, you likely understand the limitations of this form of communication.

With our increasing dependency on machines in our daily lives and lifestyles, what the world need now is our humanity. The more attached we become to our cell phones and tablets, the less time we spend interacting with one another. True and genuine humanity – understanding who we are and our connection to one another – is needed more than ever.

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Cut Out the Bureaucracy, let’s provide solutions for clean water.

Article from Euractiv.com:

You can read my response is listed below the article.

Drought_c. Stockholm International Water InstituteEU foreign ministers underscored on Monday (22 July) that tensions over access to water are likely to rise in the next decade and could endanger stability in many parts of the world. They also highlighted the potential of “water diplomacy” and the need to promote cooperation based on EU experience.

Water security was brought to the table by a decision taken earlier that the ministers should periodically look into long-term issues of high importance. No specific water-related conflict was discussed at the Brussels meeting.

As the ministerial agenda was packed with issues that included putting Hezbollah on the EU terrorist list and the Middle East peace process, no discussion took place on water diplomacy.

A diplomatic source told EurActiv that the ministers endorsed Council Conclusionsprepared ahead of the meeting.

Ministers acknowledge that water-related conflicts could endanger the stability in many parts of the world, affecting the EU interests and international peace and security. Climate change and demographic developments are seen as aggravating the situation.

Some 783 million people, or 11% of the world’s population, lack access to improved sources of drinking water, UN figures show.

Ministers stress that water and sanitation should be taken into account in designing the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015. They also highlight the need to empower women, as well as civil society and local communities – giving them a stronger voice in water diplomacy.

Ministers also welcomed the result of the EU Water Security Mapping Initiative, which they said has provided a picture of the individual member countries’ engagement on transboundary water security challenges across the world.

The Nile basin, the Middle East, the Sahel region, the Mekong River and Central Asia are among the areas of concern. The ministers called on EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton to continue to work with the countries concerned to broker solutions.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization says the current interstate conflicts over water resources occur mainly in the Middle East (disputes stemming from the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers among Turkey, Syria, and Iraq; and the Jordan River conflict among Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinians), in Africa (Nile River-related disagreements among Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan), as well as in Central Asia (the Aral Sea disputes among Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan).

Ministers also emphasised that EU policy promoting water cooperation across the world could be built based on the long experience and knowledge of the management of transboundary waters in Europe.

My Response:

There is absolutely no acceptable reason that nearly 1 billion people on earth are dying and suffering simply because they do not have clean water. The earth is plentiful and can easily supply for the needs of we humans that have sprung up from this planet.

But as the article articulates, bureaucracy and disconnected self-interest complicate how simple the solution truly is, as we continue to place war, terrorism, violence, and greed over what we have the technology and resources to do – develop solutions for all people to have clean water.

It is the most essential element for all of life on this planet, and we should be wise to give it the priority it deserves.

Thank you,
Dylan Rainwalker – Walking For Water at http://www.dylanrainwalker.com

 

 

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Our Journey To Solve Global Problems

Teach-Girls-End-World-PovertyWe are on a journey to see that problems in our world which technically need not exist be eliminated through understanding and implementing solutions.

It is within my reason that there is no technical reason why people on earth lack life’s vital needs such as clean water, healthy food, safe shelter, and access to tools enabling communication and education (e.g. relationships).

We as human beings have engineered incredible technological achievements that could easily provide a high quality of life for all people. Because we have the capability, but have not yet chosen to utilize technology for the betterment and liberation of those who are imprisoned by the devices of poverty, my conclusion can only be that the true solutions to our world’s problems dwell within the thinking and heart of each individual, community, country, and species of humanity.

A change in our thinking and what we view to be important is the first step in seeing generosity spread, first from the individual, then to the community, and then through the world. When a community knows generosity they know no poverty because the resources available are freely shared with each other, not for profit or power over each other, but from a realization that the welfare of another is also the welfare of our-self. If I am well fed while another is starving, while the resources are available for both of us to be well fed, this screams to the attention that something must be done, something must change.

When I first began to become aware of the problems of starvation, disease, lack of clean water, and the countless deaths of children happening around the world due to poverty, I found myself questioning how one could possibly make a difference in regards to the problems which have existed for as long as any of us can remember. What confounded my logic all the more was to learn that the problems didn’t need to actually exist. I first thought that surely these problems are just the way things are and there is no changing the way things are. I took a deep journey of introspection to discover the core of these problems in hopes of also discovering a way to solve the problem within us that perpetuates “the way things are.”

I first traveled across the United States to meet the homeless. I grew up in a lower-middle class home which by no means was wealthy by American standards, but I had also never experienced what it was truly like not to have a roof over my head at night, food in my belly, and the many other comforts which life for most in America avails. So, I wanted to go to cities through America to met the homeless, those often overlooked by the majority of society, to understand how they had arrived to the circumstantial place in life they had.

I went with the intent of providing meals for those who were hungry, and although food was appreciated, I discovered that the true thing the homeless desired was simply my time, recognition of their humanity, and someone who would listen. This was my first clue into what can make a difference – relationship to one another.

We live in a world with unsurpassed tools of communication and connecting with one another. But on the other hand, this enhancement of ability to connect with one another, I think, has lead to us growing more disconnected in ways that can be difficult to measure with algorithms and metrics. How can we measure the level of connection with one another? That, to me, is something quite intangible which cannot  be so easily defined with numbers and letters. A deep connection of relationship to one another is something that can be expressed simply in the look two people exchange with one another, the touch of a hug or pat on the back, and the time spent simply listening to another tell their story. Listening is a two-way activity and is starkly different than reading someone’s story through a news article, facebook feed, or blog post.

When the human connection is made we begin to feel that another’s well being is important to us, and the spirit of generosity begins to be given room to grow.

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