See how safe water can transform lives.
Recently, we had the honor of taking a Trip for Her to the Dominican Republic, Nov 10-14th to witness first hand the transformative effects clean water can have on communities. During these 4 days we were exposed to the realities of living without clean water and quickly became aware of just how much of an impact clean water has on survival. This humbling experience has given us a whole new appreciation of having daily access to clean water and left us with a burning desire to make a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate.
A special thanks to Karlee Mikkelson Photography for capturing these beautiful images!
The trip was organized by The Her Initiative in conjunction with Healing Waters International and made possible by our friends at Vital Proteins who funded our trip. Healing Waters International is a service organization that’s on a mission to end the global water crisis by building holistic clean water solutions, spreading God’s love in at-risk communities around the world. Thus, empowering people not just to survive, but to thrive – physically, socially and spiritually.
Today, we’re excited to share with you a recap of the trip, the mission of The Her Initiative and how you can join us in being part of the solution to ending the global water crisis. Below we share the dates for the next Fit for Her event held in Minneapolis, MN, our goal of raising the amount of money needed to fund an entire water project as well as how to get involved.
Facts about the Global Water Crisis:
- 1.8 billion people drink dirty water.
- Nearly 1 and 9 people around the world are living without access to clean water.
- The lack of clean water and sanitation results in 443 million missed days of school, 260 billion dollars in lost economic opportunity and nearly 1 million deaths every year.
- ⅓ of all the schools in the world lack access to safe water and sanitation.
- Every 90 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease.
- 160 million children suffer from starving and chronic malnutrition linked to water and sanitation.
- Women and children spend 125 million hours each day collecting water.
According to the World Health Organization, access to clean water and basic sanitation can save approximately 16,000 lives every week. 16,000 lives every week!!! This is clear evidence that in order for individuals to heal, communities to thrive and countries to develop, the vital need for safe water must be met.
“No other single intervention is more likely to have a significant impact on global poverty than the provision of safe water.” – United Nations University & the International Network on Water, Environment & Health
What is The Her Initiative?
The Her Initiative is Healing Waters’ answer to empowering women. Women are the leaders of their communities. They bear and raise the children, care for the home, and work outside the home to provide for their families. In developing countries the water they drink is often unsafe, containing bacteria and parasites that cause constant illness. The lack of safe water has locked many women into a cycle of poverty. It’s a serious issue of injustice, one that Healing Waters is working to solve through The Her Initiative. The Her Initiative is providing access to clean water and specific health & hygiene curriculum to women in the developing world.
Their goal (and ours, too) is to build a community of women here supporting women there. Because when you invest in a woman, you change a community.
Our Trip for Her Recap
We want to first preface this with a disclosure: We weren’t the ones doing the work. We weren’t digging trenches nor saving lives. We were there to witness first hand the impact that clean water can have on the developing world. By meeting the people, hearing their stories and seeing with our own eyes what Healing Waters and The Her Initiative are doing we can speak confidently and competently about the issue at hand and the solution. Our work wasn’t over there, but rather here at home and on this blog and in the social media space. Our work is to bring attention to a crisis that can be solved.
Nonetheless, the trip was amazing. Along with eight other women (including our good friend Lindsey of nourish move love) we spent 4 days visiting project sites and communities by day and building friendships and exploring the city of Santo Domingo by night. Our favorite part of the trip by far was the day we spent at Guarderia Parroquial El Almendro – a preschool and kindergarten for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Hearing the story behind the school, the incredible woman who runs it, her dedicated staff and the everything that was made possible thanks to access to safe drinking water was so powerful. We could go on forever about the experience and the children but we’ll let the video and the photos speak for themselves as our words could never really do it justice.
The project sites we visited during our trip were partnerships between Healing Waters International, Food for the Hungry and the local community members. To give you an idea of the extent of these projects, each typically last 8-10 years depending on the amount of need and the complexity of the issues at hand. This isn’t a “bring in the bottled water” quick fix it’s a long term, sustainable solution that empowers communities to rise up from the throes of illness, malnutrition and poverty.
One site we visited was able to get access to clean water in a matter of months whereas for another it took nearly two years for engineers to design a solution that could reliably deliver safe water to community members. However, projects aren’t limited to only clean water. They also include implementation of agricultural programs, identification and development of tools and economic resources necessary to obtain sustainable access to safe water, training in micro-business operations and education about health and hygiene.
Nearly 1.8 billion people drink dirty water daily but there is a solution. Click To Tweet
A few more photos from the trip 🙂
The students at Guarderia Parroquial El Almendro (these kids sure know how to dance!)
A pick-up game of baseball with some of the local boys!
We even got to try our hand at cooking an authentic Dominican dish called Sancocho! It was delicious and brought everyone together despite the language barrier.
Join us at Fit for Her Minneapolis!!
We’re excited to announce that On February 24th, 2018 we will be hosting a Fit for Her event in Minneapolis, MN with Lindsey of nourish move love. All proceeds from the event will go to The Her Initiative with a goal of raising $15,000 which is the amount needed to fund an entire water project.
This is a fun-filled, 2-hour fitness event where we will come together, get our sweat on, enjoy healthy snacks, connect with likeminded ladies and even do a little shopping. You can learn more about this incredible event or sign-up here. We can’t wait to see you in February!
If you are not local and would like to help us achieve our goal, you absolutely can! Click here to support Fit for Her MPLS where you can donate a dollar amount of your choosing.
More ways to support The Her Initiative…
Whether it’s a donation or a party with friends to raise awareness, The Her Initiative has lots of great ideas for how you can make a difference wherever you are. Learn more here!
A final thank you to Vital Proteins for making this trip possible and for supporting the mission of Healing Waters International and The Her Initiative. You can learn more about Vital Proteins and why we love collagen peptides here.