Caleb

This is Caleb. 

I fell in love with Caleb while I was living in Port Au Prince in 2007.
In these pictures, he's running around like a crazy man before bathtime, when he will have cold water dumped over his head, after which a nanny will soap his body up, and he will have water dumped over him again. If Caleb opens his mouth during bath time, he could get a parasite from the dirty water in Haiti. This parasite could give him diarrheal disease, or any other water-related disease that will emaciate, steal nutrients from and dehydrate an orphan body that has already been through so much. Did you catch that? This happens from water, the one substance that's supposed to help wash away things that could be harmful to Caleb.

Unfortunately, water in most third world countries is a source of disease, rather than a preventative measure. Caleb is just one of millions of children that is in danger, every day, of contracting diarrheal disease.

John Sauer, of Water Advocates, works consistently to bring about awareness of diarrheal disease and other forms of water-related illness in third world countries across the world. I feel privileged to have spent the time I have working overseas because when John gives me figures, I see faces like Caleb's. When he tells me symptoms, I can nod and say that I've seen them. I know the problems he describes are real, and it gives me an added motivation to do something.

From an article I wrote this summer:

Diarrheal disease dehydrates and causes malnutrition in the already fragile bodies of its victims, killing nearly 1.6 million children every year. Disease experts have made it clear that these deaths are easily avoidable.
Ninety percent of diarrheal deaths are directly related to sanitation, drinking water and hygiene, yet studies show that these water-related problems are simple to fix. The rotavirus vaccination, zinc and oral rehydration salts have been proven successful in combating even the most extreme forms of diarrhea.

John emailed me a few days ago and asked me to take a look at his latest columns at UPI and the Huffington Post.


It's Time to Take the Die our of Diarrhea

The United Nations Children's Fund and the World Health Organization released a report called "Diarrhea: Why Children Are Still Dying and What Can Be Done." The report outlines an aggressive seven-point plan for preventing and treating diarrhea.

WHO states that 88 percent of diarrhea cases worldwide are caused by unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene..
.(keep reading)


Safe Drinking Water: A New Cause that Needs Continued Support.


By the looks of it, a new cause has been born: bringing access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene to those on the planet who still lack it.

In the past few weeks Cirque du Soleil’s founder flew to outer space; superstars, led by Jessica Biel, pledged to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro; and Matt Damon told his story in Parade Magazine…all to raise awareness of safe drinking water and sanitation...(keep reading)

 (photos mine)

What you can do: Donate to trustworthy water organizations. Contact John for a list.