I am not sure exactly what I was expecting to hear but ‘bottle[d] water’ was not one of them. I had just started volunteering at a summer programme for underprivileged children. Over the course of the programme, I met this young girl who had the most captivating personality. I wanted to develop a friendship with her, so I asked her what she wanted me to buy her. Initially, I was stunned by her answer. Water? How could she ask me to buy her water, of all things? Seconds after she answered me, I noticed that there was sachet water (what we call ‘pure water’ in Nigeria) on her chair, and then her request suddenly made sense. The sad reality that sachet water was what she had known all her life dawned on me. The even sadder reality that many children her age were in a similar situation as she was, wondering what it’s like to drink water from a bottle, hit me. But do you know what the saddest thing about all this is? There are some people who would rejoice at the sight of sachet water, because at least it’s colourless, like clean water should be. Sadly, there’s a lot of suffering in our world.
Thankfully, some people are doing something to help out. A few months ago, I heard about the “Thirst Project” founded a decade ago by Seth Maxwell, and a few of his friends. They started out by giving out 1000 bottles of water in order to create awareness about the water problem in the world. This little act not only garnered attention but enabled them raise $1,700. I love that they have since raised $9.7 million, and have impacted 13 countries. I love that they have set an incredible target for themselves: to provide clean drinking water to all of Swaziland (a country in Southern Africa) by 2022. Above all, I love that the founders started this project when they were only 19.
When I read about this project, I thought of the fact that my friends are between the ages of 18 and 20, with most of them being 19. I know that there are many attractive things to do with money, talents and time at our age, but a lot of these things would benefit us, and only us. While it is amazing to take care of yourself, it is also nice to think of others, especially those who are not as privileged as we are. Whether it is by giving a 500 naira note to someone who looks like they need it more than you do, or by clicking that link and giving $10, or by swiping up and donating 10 pounds, I feel like we can all perform little acts of kindness. Also, it does not always have to be about money. You can give your time by volunteering. You can also use skills such as cooking, photography, and even leadership, to create some kind of impact in the lives of the less privileged. I genuinely hope that we can be that generation. That generation that is kind, thoughtful and compassionate. I hope we can be that humanitarian generation.
P.S : I hope you have a beautiful Christmas, and I hope you ring in the New Year in joy. Also, please help someone out this Christmas if you can xx
“At the end it’s not about what you’ve accomplished. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better, It’s about what you’ve given back.”-Denzel Washington.
“No one has ever become poor by giving”- Anne Frank
“We rise by lifting others.”- Robert Ingersoll