Running the tap to chug a glass of water is a privilege many of us take for granted.
While we can fill up on H20 whenever we please, contaminated water affects more than 2billion people across the globe as those in poverty struggle without access to basic sanitation facilities such as toilets which consequently affects what they drink.
But thanks to one organisation taking action, an Ethiopian district is starting to see real, life-changing results to how they can access water.
The RAW Rolling Papers Foundation – that’s right, the ones people use for skinning-up – have just built 10 fresh wells which will provide clean water to 3,350 people.
Without these wells, local residents were walking two hours each day to collect water from unpolluted sources, bringing back only as much as they could carry.
Consequently, this took a huge toll on education as many students would have to miss class or drop out of school entirely to help their families with the water walks.
Speaking about the mission, RAW founder Josh Kesselman said he wanted to begin in the Rift valley because this is where the oldest human remains have been found.
He explained: “Ethiopia is a beautiful country with tremendous needs for help. Part of us thinks ‘if you’re going to help save humanity, begin where humanity first started’.
“Our most impressive project is the rebuilding of Mother Teresa’s well in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This is a well in an 800+ person hospital for the very sick and destitute.
“We put in a modern ‘super well’ that is so deep and well-installed with a special water storage system that it will fill all of the needs of the hospital for many years to come.
“This is the first time Mother Teresa’s hospital has had access to pure clean water since its inception. This is estimated to greatly improve 10,000 lives over the next 10 years.”
Josh added: “People see me as some sort of person to look up to. They tell me I’m a modern-day Bob Geldof but I know that I’m far from that.
“I’m not a role model, I’m definitely not the person you want to model yourself after. Sure, we’ve done some amazing things together over the years. My company grew from nothing to a worldwide movement. But, I still get stuck in materialism.
“I’ve spent so much money on insane cars, houses and other trappings. All of that money could have been used to save more lives. I live with that every day.
“That’s why I say no, don’t model yourself after me. You can do a lot better than I have. Model yourself after you and your own ideals. I know that in your life, you’ll do whatever you can to make the world a better place.”
Though for a kid who got thrown out of high school for getting caught smoking in the Head’s toilet, to see where he is now, we think he’s being a little modest.
Without Josh’s help, nearly 20% of childhood deaths are associated with a waterborne illness as dirty wells are breeding grounds for bacteria from polluted rivers.
Josh’s philanthropy continues under the umbrella of his RAW Foundation, also creating a water filtration project in the Congo and sponsoring orphanages around the world.
For more info, have a gander here: The RAW Foundation.