WaterAid: Giving Children the Water and Sanitation They Need

This year, as part of the Global Team of 200, I have written quite a few posts about WaterAid (WaterAid – Everyone Deserves Clean Water, WaterAid – I’m Drinking Water For Lent, World Water Day – Let’s Raise Awareness For World Water Issues,  Having accessible, clean water and sanitation is a cause that is near and dear to my heart.  I have always had it available, but having grown up with a well whose pump didn’t work when the power went out, I have some small understanding of what it’s like to go without water.  Fortunately, my family could go to the store and buy gallons of  fresh water, but not everyone has that ability – especially in third world countries.

In Madagascar, the lack of taps and toilets is a big problem. 79% of schools don’t have clean drinking water.  41% of schools don’t even have a toilet. Every year, 13,000 children under five die due to water-related diseases. With half the population under 16, young people across the country are affected in many different ways.

WaterAid has a plan this summer to transform the lives of 12,000 children. With our help, they want to reach 31 schools with over 100 toilets and 150 taps in total.

Here’s a note from Ernest, an worker with WaterAid in Madagascar about the project so far:

My name is Ernest and I work for WaterAid Madagascar. I’ll be sharing updates from the school during the Let’s build futures campaign as together we build a better future for these children.

Good news – We’ve just finished the plans to transform Tsimahavaobe primary school with toilets and handwashing facilities! Here are two diagrams of the plans for the sanitation block and handwashing facilities. It all feels very real now.

Now to put them into action…

With the help of WaterAid supporters, my ambition is that these plans become reality for Tsimahavaobe primary school by September this year. We can install a water connection, build a toilet block and build somewhere for the children to wash their hands…giving every single one of the 303 children at the school the chance to achieve their hopes and dreams.

And we can help:  As always, WaterAid would love donations, but we can also help by tweeting about the problem.  If you would like to help in this way, please click to retweet the following:

Doesn’t everyone deserve clean water???

My Dream Vacation – Aruba

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Aruba Tourism Authority for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Art and I are about due for a nice, relaxing vacation alone together.  The last time was more than 5 years ago!!  Right now, my new favorite destiantion for my dream vacation is Aruba.

Check out this gorgeous white sand beach!!  Eagle Beach on Aruba was recently voted one of the top ten beaches in the world by TripAdvisor.com. We could just lay out all day, soak up the rays (under an umbrella with plenty of SPF30, of course) and think about absolutely nothing all day long.  And Aruba is located below the hurricane belt, so the temperatures are right around 82 degrees year-round, with refreshing trade winds and low humidity.

We are both lighthouse freaks, so visiting this one would be a necessity.  The California Lighthouse was named after the S.S. California, not my home state, but I still consider it a good sign that we are meant to stand there someday enjoying the 360 degree views.

And we are both certified scuba divers, so we will plan for at least one wreck dive while we are there as well.  And all the colorful Caribbean fish make for some gorgeous underwater photographs!!

Wouldn’t it be so romantic to dine at this restaurant right on the water or any of the outdoor restaurants in Aruba.  Lit by the exotic glow of tiki torches, we would dine on the freshest seafoodk served Caribbean-style!!  In fact, Aruba restaurants serve a variety of cuisines, from Japanese sushi to Argentinian churrasco to Jamaican jerk and everything in between.

Check out this video for a few more reasons Aruba would make a great dream vacation:

To plan our trip, I have been checking out the gorgeous photos and helpful tips on the Aruba travel website.  Investigate for yourself, then come back and tell me in the comments why you want to check out Aruba!!