by Patty Hall
Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton recently offered the following remarks on World Water Day.
“When nearly 2 million people die each year from preventable waterborne disease, clean water is critical if we’re going to be talking about achieving our global health goals. Something as simple as better access to water and sanitation can improve the quality of life and reduce the disease burden for billions of people…As the world’s population continues to grow, demand for water will go up, but our freshwater supplies will not keep pace. No country anywhere, no matter how developed, is immune to the challenges that we face...The water crisis does affect all of us, and in the coming years will be knocking on our doors. Water problems are already surfacing in many parts of the United States. Water is a topic that must be addressed by our schools, our communities and our nation.”
These statistics are daunting, and can not go unaddressed. In response to water problems worldwide, a new public-private partnership has been created, The U.S. Water Partnership, to expand the impact of America’s work on international water problems. Similarly, H2O for Life invites American youth to be part of the dialogue.
Over the past four years, H2O for Life has provided school-to-school partnerships for schools in the U.S. to collaborate with schools in developing countries that desperately need water, sanitation, and hygiene education. Over one million dollars has been donated through this partnership and 306 schools around the world have received access to clean water. H20 for Life has created a curriculum for students to raise funds for their partner school while they learn about the global water crisis.
This year, schools partnering with H2O for Life will celebrate Global Youth Service Day and Earth Day, April 22, by participating in a nationwide walk for water. Through H20 for Life, youth have become a critical part in ending the global water crisis as they advocate and support youth in schools and communities who are afflicted by the lack of clean water.