Posts Tagged With: philanthropy

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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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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What If You Didn’t Have Clean Water?

Clean water is likely the most valuable resource in the world, yet, so many of us cannot imagine what our lives would be like if we were one of the nearly 1 billion people on earth who lacked this vital resource of life.

What would your life be like if instead of being to walk into the kitchen to find clean water within your faucet, you had to walk 6 miles to fill a bucket with contaminated water – water that you knew would cause sickness – simply to survive?

What would your life be like if showers, bathing, and hand-washing didn’t exist in your world, but your entire community was filled with disease and malnutrition?

Water greatly impacts every aspect of our daily lives. It enables the growth of our food and every aspect of caring for our health. We who have free access to such a vital resource likely rarely give a thought to what our lives would be like if we did not have the plentiful supply of h2o streaming from our sinks and faucets. But we should.

I do not propose that the thought we should have is one of what it would be like to suffer as millions do without clean water; rather, our thought should be one of compassion and sharing what we do have with others who do not. Charity is not an act of pity for someone, but an act of generosity and recognition that others are just as valuable and deserve to live a quality, healthy life with the same opportunities and access that come with having clean water.

We not only have the opportunity to share clean water with those who do not have it, but we can do so in a very simple and easy way. Just $1 can provide clean water to someone in need for an entire year.

Consider the things we spend $1 in a day to purchase, and consider whether or not it may be something unhealthy. Would we be willing to change habits in order to give someone else clean water, the most important thing we need to live?

If you’d like to give $1 or more to provide clean water, take a look at the organizations I have connected with to provide clean water, and visit their links to learn and get involved.

 

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The Child Who Will Die If We Do Not Act

We are all familiar with the images spread by non-profit organizations of starving children with flies covering their bodies as they rot in the streets of impoverished villages around the world. This post isn’t going to be one of those advertisements. This post is not meant to guilt trip anyone into doing anything, but to inspire us with the notion that we can make a difference in someone’s life now.

In 2006 I had a dream. In that dream I was walking the streets of one of those impoverished villages of which advertising has made us familiar. I came upon a small child, sitting in the street, and instantly knew that his life would end tomorrow because he didn’t have clean and safe water. I also had the revelation in the dream that I could give my life for him to have another day, and I did.

From that moment I was changed. I now had a mission in life: to do anything I could to see that the child in my dream, as unknown as he was to me personally, would have a chance at living. And each of us has that opportunity right now.

Clean water is the most fundamental element of life. It is technically illogical that nearly 1 billion people on earth lack access to that vital resource. We have the ability, engineering capacity, and finances to make it happen – clean water for the world. But it has to be a priority. Providing clean water must be seen as highly relevant not only to those who are in need of safe water, but relevant to those of us who simply walk into our kitchen or step into our shower to quench our thirst and clean ourselves.

A water well, costing as little as $5,000 can provide clean water to 250 – 500 people for 10 – 20 years. This means that merely $1 can potentially give clean water to that child who was dying in my dream for an entire year.  Clean water not only impacts lives with quenching thirst and sanitation, but impacts nearly all other aspects of the health of the individual and community. Water enables agriculture and the growing of food. But more importantly than simply the physical benefits of clean water, it provides hope, and when a community has hope, everything changes.

Will you join with me in committing to eliminate the lack of access to clean water around the world? Please connect with me to discuss projects you may know about working to provide clean water, let me know about organizations I should support through my long-distance walking, or make a donation to fund the projects I support. Your donation, even if just $1 will have a huge impact on the life of someone in need.

Thank you for your time,

Dylan

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How Walking Can Change the World

531479_324356400989521_2074277816_nIt seems such a simple act one can most naturally do – walking. So how can simply going for a walk make a difference in someone else’s life or truly do anything more than help us burn a few calories?

Long Distance Walking For A Cause

It isn’t everyday that a person walks much farther than their own mailbox these days. Cars and other modes of transportation have made getting to where we need to go faster and easier than throughout human history. So when a person makes a commitment to do something out of the ordinary, such as walking a long distance, it brings with it a capacity to raise attention for a cause we may be passionate about.

Personally, clean water is the physical need which I aim to help provide to the nearly 1 billion people on earth who currently lack life’s most vital resource. By doing something out of the ordinary, such as the ordinary act of walking (ironic, huh?), I hope to bring attention to the issue and hopefully raise funds for some specific projects solving the problem we face in our human world.

Meeting People You Would Have Driven Past

When we walk we have opportunities that only this 3 mile-per-hour mode of transportation could offer – meeting people. Nearly every person I walk beside or in opposing directions stops say hello which often leads to conversations and friendship. It isn’t always easy going deeper than the generic “how’s it going?” question and then continuing on without another thought. But most of the time by asking a simple question about the town or for a suggestion on a good place to eat, the door is opened to greater discussion and the opportunity is presented to encourage others and discuss the cause for which I am walking. In 2012 as I walking through Venice Beach, I would estimate that I had genuine conversations with at least 50 people in a day, which was a great audience with whom to deliver a message.

Walking is something that most of us are completely equipped with the two essential tools to do (a left and right leg). Many will cite the health benefits of walking, which are certainly evident, but I walk for the incredible people, for the beautiful sights, and for the cause.

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What Causes Poverty?

ImageExtreme poverty is an issue which, to some, appears to be immensely complicated. The philanthropic world examines a plethora of issues relating to poverty in hopes of discovering solutions to meet the needs of people dying daily from causes that we have the full capabilities and resources to eliminate. Many campaign for a wide-ranging approach to attack the problems of poverty with private investment, responsible political leadership, and large-scale aid to alleviate current suffering.
However, as I read through the vast number of articles published by non-profit organizations, watch interviews with world leaders, and hearpromising statistics on how poverty is being eradicated, I cannot help but see a grossly overlooked topic which although spoken about, never seems to truly be addressed: Inequality.
Extreme poverty, in my view, is an incredibly simple issue with a simple explanation. Money is a fixed tool of measurement. This means that there are only so many dollars, pounds, etc. that exist. For example, let us say that there are $7,000,000,000 in total existence – roughly the number of people on earth. Now let us suppose that of those 7 billion dollars, 39% our owned by the top 1% of people. When such a large portion of the pie is being eaten by such a few number of people, it’s simple to see why poverty is so rampant around planet earth.
How We Define “Poverty”
When searching for the root cause of poverty in our world, I believe it is of utmost importance to define exactly what we mean by poverty. Many organizations define poverty strictly in monetary terms. We hear statistics such as “half of the world lives on less than $2 per day” but does that statistic truly reflect the conditions of life for half of the world’s population? For example, a farmer may live on less than $2 per day, while providing the essentials of water and food from working their land. If an outside entity were to view this farmer based solely on his income, he may be viewed as impoverished and encouraged to move into the city where he might earn a higher wage through some sort of factory work.
I think that an accurate definition of poverty would have to be linked also to how we define “quality of life.” For the purposes of this article, I will discuss “quality of life” in terms of the physical needs we human beings have. Certainly, there are many other spiritual and social factors which come into play when discussing the quality of one’s life, but perhaps that will be for a future article.
What do we think it means to truly live a quality life? In my view there are few and simple true needs that we as human beings have to live healthy: clean water, healthy food, safe shelter, education and communication (relationships). A community which lacks access to these vital needs experiences needless suffering, as we have all of the resources and technical capabilities to provide them for all of humanity. There are some who believe the earth simply does not have the resources to support the number of people on earth and that poverty is a natural result of an overpopulated planet. But I believe this to be a highly short-sighted viewpoint.
The world is not overpopulated, as though our planet has a capacity limit, but the resources we have available are incredibly mismanaged  by we humans. Admitting this is perhaps a first step in understanding the root cause of poverty. The planet is not at fault for poverty, just as the people themselves are not responsible for poverty; rather, the systems in which we the people place our beliefs are not working and have not worked throughout our history to achieve a quality life for each person.

 What can give people access to the vital needs of life?

Clean water is the most fundamental element of life. It is also the prime force for agricultural growth and health. We have the technology and resources to easily provide clean water for the world. There is one reason always given for why we do not make clean water for all a reality – cost.Nearly half of the world’s population lives within 200 km of a coastline.Desalination is a simple but costly process which converts seawater into drinkable water through reverse osmosis. If we can overcome the monetary restriction within our minds, we can finally harness the most vast source of water our planet – the oceans.
The question we must ask ourselves in regards to providing a quality life for each one of us is “what is our concern?” If our primary concern is money and cost, poverty will continually be perpetuated around the world. But if we determine to concern our selves not by what it may cost in terms of a digital bank account number; rather, by what it may cost in human lives if we do not implement the technology and resources we have to create a better world for each one of us.
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