I found the story of Seth Maxwell, one of the 2011 Do Something Awards Finalists, to be particularly inspiring. Seth, a 22 year-old college graduate from Los Angeles, CA, learned from a friend that almost 1 billion people lack access to clean water and that water-borne illnesses account for more than 80% of all global disease. He found this information troubling and immediately decided to do something about it.
He began what became known as the Thirst Project in March of 2008. Seth, along with eight of his friends, was committed to making a difference. They invested all their cash – about $70 in total – and purchased 1,000 bottles of water. They distributed the free water on Hollywood Blvd. and began educating the public, through informal conversations, about the clean water crisis. In a single day, they raised awareness and more than $1,700 in donations!
From there, the project took off. The group began speaking at schools and churches, spreading their message. It was official – the Thirst Project became a reality. Check out the video clip for more info!
Today, the movement created by young people is raising awareness of and bringing solutions to the global water crisis. It combines an Education Outreach Program and water well implementation. The Thirst Project has completed 392 freshwater development projects across the globe, providing over 34,000 people with safe, clean water. Also, it has reached 200,000 American students with its educational programs.
From a business, government, and society perspective, the Thirst Project represents an individual’s campaign for social change. The reality is that the world’s resources are unequally distributed. In fact, 20% of the world’s population consumes more than 80% of the earth’s resources, while the other 80% consume less than 20%. In order to have a sustainable global economy, it must be based on an ethical model that supports humanity’s interdependence.
Following Seth’s example, we need to ensure that the world’s essential resources are made accessible to all. Countries and multinational corporations must move beyond their pursuits of self-interest and competition, and embrace an alternative approach to managing the world’s resources more equitably. In this way, we can create sustainable global change.
If you’re interested in learning more or contributing to the project…Visit www.ThirstProject.org.