Sunday, November 20, 2011

Give a Toilet and a Little Empowerment

Photo credit: Gates Foundation
Thanks to a nasty headache that landed me on my assets for most of the day, I am not feeling like the day was particularly productive. The bright spots were the initiatives I found to support for my "give a little" effort.

I have been lax in blogging about my weekly give a little challenge so please bear with me.

In honour of World Toilet Day, and the 2+ billion people who do not have access to a private, clean place to poop oh don't be a prude - we all do it, I donated to World Toilet Org. I can't help it -- the thought of doing my private business in public is unfathomable so anything I can do to support the cause to improve the situation ... The mission of this organization is to improve sanitation conditions for people globally through advocacy, inventive technology, education and building marketplace opportunities locally. Like the Gates Foundation, they are supporting efforts to reinvent the conventional toilet; to find solutions that are not water based. It doesn't get any more basic or revolutionary than that!

Wendy Smith, author of Give a Little inspired me yet again with her suggestion to donate to the Imagine Rural Development Initiative (IRDI). This Zambian non-profit organisation is providing free skills-training in moringa cultivation to 30 previously unemployed local Zambian women. Moringa is an affordable and highly-nourishing superfood that can fight malnutrition, improve health and eradicate poverty. Sound good? Many of the local women taking the training are widows and breadwinners in their families and take care of not only their own children, but also grand-children and orphans who have lost their own parents due to HIV/AIDS and other illnesses. The donations help sustain the families while the women take the 6 month training. Wherever possible sustainability is key for me in my "investing" efforts. Don't we all want the same thing; to be able to take care of ourselves and our family and provide the foundation on which to build dreams?

So although I spent most of the day horizontal with reruns of "Love it or List it" playing in the background (helps me sleep), I feel like somehow I made a small, positive contribution and the day wasn't a total write off. And so another week begins!

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