Samaritan's Purse - Turn On The Tap

I wanted to start the Pay It Forward section of this website because charities and causes are very important to me in my life. I have also found a passion for finding interesting and lesser known charities and thought I would let my readers know about them here.

One of my favorite charities is headed by Samaritan's Purse. Samaritan's Purse was founded in 1970. Franklin Graham is the president of this charity and is also the son of the famous evangelist Billy Graham. I grew up hearing about Samaritan's Purse and their Operation Christmas Child program. (I will talk about Operation Christmas Child another time.) They have a lot of interesting charities that they promote but I will only talk about one of them here. It's called Turn On The Tap.

For 1.1 billion people, having no access to a safe water supply is a daily reality. For drinking, cleaning, and cooking, these people must use water from sources contaminated by livestock, human feces, and other contaminants.

The unsafe water sources that communities are forced to use are killing people. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that 1.8 million people die every year from diarrhoeal diseases - diseases transmitted through contaminated water and poor hygiene practices. The sad reality is that children are the most vulnerable and common victims - every day more than 4,500 children die from a diarrhoeal disease.

Samaritan's Purse is helping to attack the global water crisis through their water projects. They are reaching people with a message of hope and helping them live a better quality of life. As a member of the International Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage Network, a global collaborative sponsored by WHO, they are committed to reducing waterborne disease, especially among vulnerable populations, through household water treatment and safe storage programs.

Through their BioSand Water Filter projects, they are providing communities access to safe drinking water through household water filters. Their teams and local partners have installed more than 70,000 BioSand Water Filters in homes, communities, schools, and clinics, bringing improved water to an estimated 560,000 individuals worldwide. Recipients of the filters are trained in filter use and maintenance, and basic health and sanitation principles.

In response to the crisis of the global lack of drinking water, they plan to build, install, and maintain at least another 65,000 filters by 2010.

The BioSand Water Filter is an award-winning Canadian water filtration technology developed by Dr. David Manz, a former University of Calgary professor. BioSand Water Filters are an adaptation of slow-sand filtration, designed for use at the household level. The filter removes water-borne bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and other organisms that cause diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, and amoebic dysentery. The filter also strains out the particles and organic matter that cause cloudiness, unpleasant taste, colour, and odour.

Filters can be built on location with local materials. The exterior is made of concrete, with gravel and sand layered inside. Rain, surface, or ground water is poured through the top and filtered as it passes through the layers of sand and gravel. The sand filters 1 litre of water per minute, enough to provide an entire family with sufficient water for their daily drinking, cooking, cleaning, and hygiene needs.

Since 1997, Samaritan's teams and local partners have installed more than 70,000 filters in homes, communities, schools, and clinics, bringing improved water to an estimated 560,000 individuals worldwide. They have BioSand Water Filter projects around the world, including in Africa, where two out of every five people lack access to a safe water supply.

Donors can Turn on the Tap to clean water for a family at a cost of only $100 (Canadian), providing a family with the filter, vital health and hygiene education and filter maintenance.

You can visit Samaritan's Purse - Turn On The Tap by clicking here.

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