Happy May! I have a son turning nine years old this month. My daughter and I completed three days of sixth grade camp- I had sore legs and a happy heart. Our niece will graduate high school in Northwest Iowa. School will continue on until June 14- so we have to be a little patient yet for summer break…
Last week we had a little group, but that didn’t stop us from making a big difference!
In a world were numbers are a big deal, we can be reminded that what you do does matter so very much.
We were able to read the story The Red Bicycle. The red bicycle began with a boy named Leo in the United States, then journeyed to Burkina Faso to Alisetta, who grew her family’s sorghum crop with its help. Later, a young woman named Haridata, used the bicycle as a clinic ambulance! We had our own bike parade to celebrate the power of one bike!
We will be reading Mimi’s Village and talking about clean water and immunizations.
Remember to bring along a stuffed animal for our ‘immunization clinic’! We will also be participating in a water carrying relay, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, inflatable world volleyball, soccer, and a coloring page.
If you are able please bring along $1.00 to support Shot@Life. $20.00 protects a child in the developing world from pneumonia, polio, measles, and diarrhea. We also have five adult and 5 children’s t-shirts from Shot@Life to give away!
We have had so much fun, we hope to combine forces and continue play groups for the West Michigan area past this summer! Make sure to join our Service Play Group Facebook Page to get all the updates as we make a difference together as a community!
#TalkJustice: Clean Water Last week we talked Hunger. Clean water is another great justice topic to start with for kids. They understand thirst. Beyond, thirst we can teach them that unclean water makes people sick. We can talk about water scarcity and how that affects everyone on the planet.
Whenever we talk to our kids about justice issues we can be positive, because there are so many ways we can help! Even though the topics can be heavy, we can make a difference, and that’s something to be excited about. Help your family go deeper:
Do we use more than our share of water?
Imagine using unclean water for laundry, showers, drinking, cleaning dishes.
What dangers might occur trying to transport clean water to your home? Might it make you vulnerable? Would you have time to attend school?
Without water could anything survive?
More and more people face water scarcity. How could that affect everyone on the planet?
If you had to walk thirty minutes to get clean water, how would you use water differently?
Introducing #TalkJustice Summer Serve Play Groups! Come over to our Facebook Event Page to learn more. We will be exploring topics and making a difference in community, using a series of books donated to us from CitizenKid. Hosted by About Proximity (that’s me) and my Mom, a public school family advocate for two decades.
I LOVE to hear from you! Did you try any hunger or clean water activities? What conversations came up in your family?
About Proximity’s story Contrast will be featured in the publication Couch Rebels! Amy Sullivan also has a contribution. The book is set to release August 14, the more support for this crowd-sourced way of giving back the better.
CausePub is a great way to get involved and offer hope.
I’m really excited to see what future projects CausePub has planned and what impact it will make.
Here is one more easy way to make a difference the month of August:
About Proximity is a Shot@Life champion.
Shot@Life is a movement to protect children worldwide by providing life-saving vaccines where they are most needed.
You can get involved in their Blogust Campaign.
The easiest way is to follow this link to sign up. Each day in the month of August you will get an email directing you to a Shot@Life post. All you need to do is read the article and leave a comment. What happens then?
Every comment unlocks a donation from Walgreens for one life-saving vaccine where it is needed most.
Just comment and help Shot@Life reach their goal of offering 50,000 vaccines.
1.5 million children die each year of a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine.
Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together By: Herb Shovelier is a book your family will want to read together. The book is geared toward 3rd-6th graders. The book is part of the CitizenKid Collection of stories to encourage kids to make a difference globally.
In first grade, Ryan Hreljac of Kemptville, Ontario learned that not everyone in the world had clean water. He sought to earn the money to buy a clean water well. After a newspaper ran his story, his work received international attention. He was able to fund a clean water well in the Agweo Village in Uganda, Africa. His school became pen pals with students in Agweo. One student, a young orphan named Akana Jimmy longed to tell Ryan thank you in person. Ryan was able to travel to Uganda and meet Jimmy. The book is about their friendship and the difference they have made.
The story continues as Jimmy was abducted by the LRA, a resistance group in Uganda. He escaped to his friend, the project coordinator of Ryan’s Well. After time and paperwork, Jimmy was able to come to Canada and live with Ryan’s family. They now have a foundation called the Ryan Well Foundation.
The Foundation website also has school curriculum ideas and clean water projects you can be involved in.
Be encouraged by a friendship and the power one life has to make a difference!
An American taking a 5-minute shower uses more water than a typical person in a developing country slums uses in a whole day. ~2006 United Nations Human Development Report
In developing countries 80% of illness is linked to poor water conditions. ~United Nations
½ the World’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering from disease related to un-safe drinking water. ~United Nations Development Program
443 million school days are lost each year due to water related diseases. ~United Nations Development Program
Girls under the age of 15 are twice as likely as boys their age to be the family member responsible for fetching water. ~UNICEF
More than 1 in 8 people do not have access to safe drinking water. ~United Nations
1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 is due to water-related disease. ~United Nations
Whether your life is comfortable or not, most citizens of the United States do not have to worry about clean water. Imagine not having enough clean water for your family. Imagine sending your young daughter away to gather the water for your family, opening the door for danger, taking time away from her education. Imagine watching your child suffer from a water-related illness. Imagine your children not being able to attend school due to lack of sanitation. These scenarios are difficult to imagine because we have not faced them and they are uncomfortable. These examples occur each and every day throughout the World. We can help ease the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
National Geographic has great photographs for families to view together.
The options for giving or becoming involved in clean water initiatives around the World are vast here are links to just a few. Add additional programs that I might have missed in the comments section below.
The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee provides exciting resources for families and children’s groups.
Free-A-Family Giving Project:
My kids really enjoyed this project. A booklet with seven lessons is available.
The lessons talk about family life in developing countries.
Children can learn about how work is being provided for clean water, education, schools,clinics, and churches around the World. A community poster is also included. After each story children can add a sticker to the poster that illustrates the story. We have been adding up money in our giving bank and hope to adopt a family soon.
There are a number of other resources for family projects that cover the topics of clean water, living in hope with AIDS, and literacy.