*I wrote this on Tuesday, the day after the death of Jack Layton, an astonishing human being whose beliefs and life will continue to teach us for generations!
Yesterday one man lost his life in a battle with Cancer. His last words to the world in a letter to Canadians were succinct, simple and synonymous with the way he lived, “My friends, love is better than anger, Hope is better than fear, Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic, And we’ll change the world” I have seen this posted a multitude of times already on Facebook and Twitter. Jack Layton, the leader of the NDP politico and the official leader of the opposition party here in Canada had values that I have not seen in other political leaders, actually, they were values that I don’t always see in everyday people, but they are values that are so important.
I choose to live without fear, and with optimism and love, perhaps that is why I accomplish the things I do in my life. Today I spoke with David Vargas, chief operating officer with Isla Urbana, an amazing organization working in the barrios on the edge of Mexico City. Tlalpan, the city delagacion where they operate is home to some 1-1.5 million people who have no water infrastructure. Isla Urbana harvests rainwater and implements cisterns to keep the water in. They have done this in a very cost effective way, and in the past 2 years since they began operating have implemented 500 cisterns and plan to facilitate another 1000!
Clean Safe Water is what makes the difference between living and surviving in many cases.
I love the work they do, because at the outset, it could seem daunting to take on such a dense area, but this is how change happens, how transformation begins. Simply by beginning, 1 person, 1 family, 1 community, 1 cistern at a time! They are revolutionizing rainwater harvesting to create a sustainable and environmentally stable solution to answer many of the water related problems that exist in Mexico City. Isla Urbana is really taking the same values that Jack Layton had during his 3 decades of public service and putting them in action, a passionate, courageous man who fought many times for the rights of those that could not, refused to be affected by despair, hopelessness, or negativity, and simply making it happen because it is the right thing. Thank you for the work that you do!
It makes the difference to being able to work and make money to feed your grandchildren every day, Casey Kasoma‘s children are dead and she is left alone to care for their children, waterbourne disease is responsible for 88% of diarhea cases worldwide, leading to death and loss in ability to work.
In the developing world (that is most of the world) clean safe water is hard to come by. Here in Haiti I visited SHADA, a slum in Cap-Haitian. Ancient Romans had better quaility of life than half the people alive now *Water.Org