FACT: 5 million die every year from water related diseases
“Today’s water crisis is not an issue of scarcity, but of access. More people in the world own a cell phone than have access to a toilet. And as cities and slums grow at increasing rates, the situation worsens. Everyday, lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills thousands, leaving others with reduced quality of life” (Water.org).
In Ethiopia it is estimated that only 42% of the population has access to a safe water supply and only 11% of the population has access to proper sanitation facilities.
Wandering the busy streets of Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia and home to over 3.4 million people, the lack of water and sanitation facilities becomes clearer the closer you look. Peering out the window of our van while driving through Addis, the need of such commodity almost becomes masked by the comings and goings of the people.
Islam is the predominant religion in Eritrea. It is estimated that about 40% of the population is practicing Orthodox Christianity and less than 5% are Protestant and Roman Catholic.
Though the Constitution of this country calls for a freedom of religion, that actual freedom has not been realized. In fact, people of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentecostal, and reformed Orthodox Christians suffer much persecution, harassment and even reports of brutal torturing for their faith.
The rural vs urban divide is quite pronounced in Sudan. Health care for example, is developing much faster in the larger cities compared to many conflict-affected and disaster prone rural areas. There are many factors hindering the increase in rural health care provision even though it seems since 2005 it has become more of a priority to the Sudanese government. The excess of many communicable diseases, food shortages caused many times by natural disasters, and a dependency on foreign relief are just a few barriers to an improved health-care system in rural cities like Rumbek.
How do you see poverty around the world?
This is a question I am personally confronted with on a daily basis, and to be quite honest my answer will shift from time to time.
To some degree, I’ve learned to see it as an abstract concept, one seeking to be understood by ratios, percentages and statistics. Numbers that all serve to quantify the prevalence, reach and extent of human suffering in the world. Though these numbers are important, used to generate awareness about the issues, sickness, destitution and hardships that many face, they cannot and should not be looked at as wholly defining.
A startling number of children roam the streets of Nazaret, Ethiopia, unattended.
Upon closer inspection these children are more than unattended, they are members of a street life community whose dwelling place is that of pitched tents that line the walls of city buildings. This sub-culture is currently estimated at approximately 6,000 children. In order to get by, many children join with others that have experienced the same crushed dreams. These children are thrown into a daily cycle that can be characterized by physical and sexual harassment, exploitation, drugs, and overwhelming feelings of hopelessness.
These children come into the city because their families leave rural communities to make a better life for themselves at the promise of a booming job market. Upon entering the city many find that their glorified image of urban life holds a grim reality.
Today, we ask you to join us in praying for the orphans and vulnerable children in Nazaret and our initiatives specifically targeting children in this community, which will soon commence.
Please pray that through our street children rehabilitation and preventative care the local church will be able to care for and empower children that have been separated from their family and cast aside by society. Pray also for the receptive hearts of the children who participate in our street children rehabilitation program, that they would be reminded of their worth in their transformational journey toward a God who thinks so highly of them.