It has been two weeks since I touched down in Guatemala City and I haven't had a dull moment since my arrival. From the bus rides through the mountains to the hikes up mountains, Lauren and I have found profound experiences and learning wherever we go. The cultural lessons have been exceptionally enlightening as well as the medical paradigm shift.

by Jenny Dyer

We want to give a special thanks to HTHH supporter, Rachel Flynn, who lives in Crossville, TN for hearing about our opportunity with Lamar Advertising and then offering us space on Flynn Signs Co., Inc. in Crossville, TN!

She and her husband Tom within hours were able to post our Water=Hope message up on 2 billboards in Crossville on their Flynn Signs.

water hope flynn

We're excited to partner with Flynn Signs!

 

We want to thank the Lamar Advertising Company for creating and posting the billboard below in small and medium size markets across the nation beginning this week! They are helping us spread the word across the country that YOU can help bring safe, clean water to people around the world.

by Lawrence Harrington

World Water Act would save countless lives

Oct. 4, 2010

Tennessee Voices

Lost in the high deci­bel debate of a polar­ized mid-term elec­tion, Ten­nessee Sen. Bob Corker recently teamed with Assis­tant Major­ity Leader Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to pass the World Water Act, a mea­sure to pro­vide clean water and san­i­ta­tion to 100 mil­lion peo­ple around the globe.

If the mea­sure is passed by the House and signed by the pres­i­dent, bil­lions of dol­lars and mil­lions of lives — most of them chil­dren — can be saved thanks to lead­er­ship and long-term think­ing from both sides of the Sen­ate chamber.

For those of us who have come to expect clean drink­ing water at the turn of a han­dle, the prob­lem can be hard to grasp.

The com­plex­ity of water and san­i­ta­tion chal­lenges around the globe became appar­ent to me when I was run­ning the Mex­ico office of the Inter-American Devel­op­ment Bank and attended the Fourth World Water Forum in Mex­ico City.

World­wide drink­ing water is scarce

Over a bil­lion peo­ple world­wide live with­out safe water. More than 2.5 bil­lion lack ade­quate san­i­ta­tion, expos­ing them to intesti­nal dis­eases cost­ing lives and eco­nomic productivity.

The bur­den of haul­ing drink­ing water in many rural areas falls most heav­ily on women and girls, mak­ing it harder for them to stay in school.

Scarce health resources are spent treat­ing water­borne dis­eases.
Even before the full impact of cli­mate change, lack of decent water can cause mass emi­gra­tion and will be a major source of global inse­cu­rity in the com­ing decades.

Last week, U.S. researchers con­cluded that 80 per­cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion lives in areas with “inse­cure” fresh water.

The Water for the World Act builds on exist­ing efforts to pro­vide sus­tain­able access to clean water and san­i­ta­tion in less devel­oped coun­tries. The mea­sure pro­vides addi­tional resources but ensures they will be spent effec­tively by encour­ag­ing donor coor­di­na­tion and rig­or­ous project eval­u­a­tion. It pro­motes global and regional coop­er­a­tion on research and technology.

For for­eign aid skep­tics, water and san­i­ta­tion is a good invest­ment. A dol­lar spent in this sec­tor can return as much as $8 by increas­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity and reduc­ing the health care and other expen­di­tures that result from lack of water and san­i­ta­tion. Our mil­i­tary can tell you that a good well may be more impor­tant to secur­ing a vil­lage than for­ti­fi­ca­tions. Inte­grated water man­age­ment reduces infra­struc­ture costs by bil­lions of dol­lars, invest­ments that many coun­tries can ill afford.

Even in rel­a­tively devel­oped coun­tries in Latin Amer­ica such as Mex­ico, small amounts of tech­ni­cal assis­tance improve man­age­ment and lever­age finance for strug­gling urban san­i­ta­tion systems.

Closer to home at Van­der­bilt Uni­ver­sity, stu­dents are tak­ing steps to bring clean water and san­i­ta­tion to under­served com­mu­ni­ties.
Recently, mem­bers of Engi­neers With­out Bor­ders spent valu­able vaca­tion time using their skills to bring water to a poor vil­lage in Peru.

A Van­der­bilt engi­neer­ing stu­dent, Leslie Labruto, a mem­ber of the group, recently turned 21. She told friends to for­get a party and instead give money so a vil­lage in cen­tral Africa could get a new well.

Thanks to her self­less­ness, the vil­lage will have a source of clean water for years to come.

Sen. Corker points to per­sonal involve­ment like this — church mis­sions he made to Haiti years ago — as encour­ag­ing him to enter pub­lic ser­vice and offer­ing a deeper under­stand­ing of the devel­op­ment chal­lenges in poor countries.

Corker’s time as mayor of Chat­tanooga undoubt­edly helped him under­stand the impor­tance of pro­vid­ing basic ser­vices to a com­mu­nity and the imper­a­tive of coop­er­a­tion to do good work.

Ten­nesseans should hope this bipar­ti­san spirit moves the World Water Act through the House to the president’s desk.

Larry Har­ring­ton is an adjoint pro­fes­sor at the Cen­ter for Latin Amer­i­can Stud­ies at Van­der­bilt and a Nashville attorney.

 

I arrived in Guatemala almost two weeks ago. The experience of walking out of the airport into Guatemala City is a five-sense sensation—the colors, the voices, the rain, and the pollution that you can smell and taste. The intensity hasn't lessened at all since getting here.
Your Advocacy Saves Lives

The Water=Hope Campaign celebrates that on Monday, September 20, 2010, the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act passed through the Senate unanimously.

We want to thank the leadership of Assistant Senate Majority Leader Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and their cosponsors for sponsoring this bill which places water in the forefront of America’s development priorities, seeking to reach 100 million people around the world with sustainable access to clean water and sanitation over the next six years.

September 16, 2010

Journey of Action

This August, Kassidy and Ryan Brown of Nashville, TN will be driving the Pan American Highway-from Alaska to Argentina. A six month expedition that will take them into 14 different countries, covering over 15,000 miles. They will be volunteering with and showcasing social entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, universities, and high schools that are making a positive impact locally and abroad.

Two filmmakers will document the journey. Kassidy and Ryan will blog daily, upload their photography, and most importantly produce weekly webisodes. The webisodes will aim to entertain, educate, and inspire social activism within the Millennial Generation.

Kassidy and Ryan will aspire to be the social leaders of Generation Y, who are some of the world’s most influential, globally wired, technologically savvy and socially conscious people in the world, by bringing them the content they crave through the medium they consume.

Follow Kassidy and Ryan on their website: journeyofaction.com

 

Frist Global Health Leaders Touch over 5000 Lives This Summer

School has begun and autumn is here. We hope you had as wonderful a summer as we had here at Hope Through Healing Hands.
Water = Hope goes to Washington! We just finished another fun weekend on the road with Brad Paisley and the H20 Tour, making stops in Spokane, Portland and the Gorge!

We started our weekend off in Spokane with some great volunteer help: college students, a high school student and parents involved with a local home schooling organization all came out to lend a hand, doing a great job and signing up lots of new supporters for the Water = Hope campaign!

September 15, 2010

whf hebrew dinner 1whf hebrew 2

Photo 1: Senator Bill Frist and Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson, President of The Hebrew University

Photo 2: Senator Bill Frist and Ambassador Dr. Josephine Ojiambo. An IMPH alumna and the newly appointed Deputy Permanent Representative of Kenya to the UN

Last night, Senator Bill Frist, M.D. was the keynote speaker at the Maimonides Awards Dinner honoring George S. Barrett, chairman and chief executive officer of Cardinal Health. The Dinner was to benefit the International Master in Public Health Fellows at the Braun School of Public Health and the Faculty of Medicine at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The Maimonides Award is conferred by the American Friends of The Hebrew University to honor philanthropic commitment to pioneering research in the field of medicine and health care conducted at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Maimonides award recipients are distinguished by their humanitarianism, communal leadership and work in support of research breakthroughs that will benefit mankind.

Senator Frist spoke on the role of the International Master of Public Health Program. More broadly, he spoke of global health in terms of peace and American health diplomacy.

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