This simple idea of everyONE: water, and the formation of the (1)NE: charity was born out of an incredible need that I was never aware of until I first traveled to South Sudan in the spring of 2011. I could have never prepared myself for what I saw when I stepped off of that plane and into the lives of so many beautiful people with such an abundant need for life's most basic needs. The two months that I spent in South Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda changed the lenses from which I viewed life, forever. I now see and feel a greater purpose for my life and the blessings that came with being born and raised in North America for which I really had no choice! I felt an overwhelming responsibility and exciting sense of responsibility to use my life as a tool to change the lives of people. These people just do not yet have the opportunity to comprehend a future with hope because of poverty. Then I met Scott Harrison, the founder of charity: water in NYC, which "changed everything".
Shortly after my life changing trips to Africa, life's path lead me to a 10 day trip to New York City. This trip to NYC was because of a friend, Austin Hearst, whom I met the second time I traveled to South Sudan and hosted him and Bob Arnot in Juba. He was so moved and inspired by the agriculture development work we were doing in the region that he invited me to come visit NYC to brainstorm other ideas on how we could help the Sudanese people in a sustainable way. While in NYC, his friend Jennifer McCrea invited the two of us to a WELL event at The Crosby Hotel on July 27, 2011 for charity: water.
"Scott opened my eyes first to the need, then he shared the story, the platform which entirely redefined the definition and expectation of charity to me."
Photos from the WELL event July 27,2011 in NYC
Village of Terekeka, South Sudan spring of 2011
Benjamin Bol and i at the farm, Terekeka, South Sudan. spring of 2011
With Scott's incredibly inviting and honest opening statement in a packed auditorium, I knew I was going to be a part of the fight he was in against poverty and to restore hope and a future into lives with life's most basic need, clean drinking water. Scott opened my eyes first to the need, then he shared the story of a new way to do charity, and an innovative new platform which changes the definition and expectation of charity. He also revealed the dramatic impact each of us can have, the value of clean water, and how affordable this is to us in North America. Here we are now launching (1)NE: charity, and the everyONE: water movement! Clean WATER is something all individuals can relate to and something we can all afford to give today!