Wednesday, 16 March 2016
Brushing your teeth is a socially accepted thing to do in Australia. It certainly is instilled in us from a young age. I remember a woman coming to visit my class in primary school with a giant toothbrush and teeth model. She demonstrated how to brush in circles and gave us a serious warning about what would happen if we did not diligently brush twice a day. She then sent us on our merry way with a new toothbrush and toothpaste that had presumably been sponsored by a large Australian toothpaste company.
If you’re like me, brushing your teeth is something you do every day in a half-awake, auto-pilot state with very little mindfulness. The disease-free water flowing out of the tap when I rinse my toothbrush, it doesn’t feel like a luxury. It’s feels like a ‘staple’, something that should just happen because, well, that’s been my experience every day of my life living in Australia. Tap get turned on, clean water comes out.
There have been the odd, rare moments that have reminded me that this is not a universal experience for everyone in the world. I certainly became more appreciative of clean water after becoming violently ill while travelling after accidentally drinking some local tap water. I remember the relief and delight of my first night home when I went to brush my teeth and could just turn on the tap instead of using bottled water. On the whole though, I am rarely thankful for the clean water I drink and use every day.
It’s confronting to consider that 768 million people in our world don’t have access to clean water, which is defined as a one to two kilometre walk from a water source. That is 32 times the population of Australia unable to drink what we take for granted every day! For so many people, the only water they can drink has dangerously high levels of poisonous substances or are a transmitter for water-borne disease. Walking long distances to collect water also holds back girls from being able to receive an education and can be dangerous for girls’ safety.
SIM is working to provide safe water for communities living in poverty around the world. From filtering arsenic out of water in Bangladesh, to digging wells in Ethiopia, SIM is determined to see God’s grace flow to those living without access to life’s most essential resource.
Next week is International Water Day (22 March) and SIM are urging all our supporters to consider taking on the H2Only Water Challenge. Grow in your mindfulness and thankfulness for the disease-free, clean water that flows out of our taps by taking up the challenge to drink only water for the week!
Here are the three simple steps:
1. Make the commitment to drink only water
2. Spread the word about the challenge and SIM’s clean water projects with your family and friends, colleagues, church etc.
3. Donate the money saved by drinking only water to SIM’s Community Transformation Fund (09320). You could even ask your friends and family to chip in to help give the gift of water to others this World Water Day!
Find out more information about the challenge here.
Will you take up the challenge and make a difference in the lives of those living without clean water?