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THIRST RELIEF MISSION
Our mission is to overcome death and disease resulting from the consumption of contaminated water by providing safe, clean drinking water to those in need around the world.
Our vision is simple yet profound - to save lives and change the world.
Thirst Relief International is a water development organization working to improve access to safe water in nine countries worldwide. Founded in 2005, Thirst Relief works with its implementing partners to launch and sustain water projects in impoverished rural areas and urban slum communities. By providing infrastructure development, training, and financial and technical resources to our partners, we are helping thousands of people each year improve their health through safe drinking water. Without Thirst relief's support, and the generosity of our donors, many of these water projects would never come into being.
The Worldwide Water Crisis
In this day and age, the statistics are seemingly unbelievable. 1.1 billion People lack access to clean drinking water, and nearly 2.5 million people die each year due to waterborne-related disease (90% of which are children under the age of 5). As a result, the World Hunger Organization (WHO) has declared a worldwide water crisis among the world's poorest people. Further, the UN has declared 2005-2015 Water for Life: International Decade for Action.
Each week, due to easily preventable causes, diarrheal disease claims the lives of 30,000 people, most of them young children. This is a silent humanitarian crisis that thwarts progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs). The consequences of our collective failure to tackle this problem are the dimmed prospects for the billions of people locked in a cycle of poverty and disease.
HIV/AIDS and Clean Drinking Water
The lack of clean drinking water is at the root of the African HIV/AIDS pandemic. Children and adults living with HIV/AIDS require clean drinking water to survive. Waterborne illness, considered normally mild in healthy adults, becomes an incurable death sentence for those affected by HIV/AIDS. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, millions of people lack access to the basic necessity of clean drinking water. In this same region, some 25 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. The result - over 2 million children and adults die of HIV/AIDS annually in sub-Saharan Africa alone.
Integral to this horrible cycle, sickness and disease resulting from the consumption of contaminated drinking water destroy the strength and development of African families and communities. This leads to extreme poverty, lack of education, tremendous inequities, and greater illnesses, creating conditions ripe for the continued spread of HIV/AIDS. Caught in this downward spiral, it becomes difficult, and most cases impossible, for individuals to progress out of their terrible plight.
The Power of Prevention
One of our Thirst Relief partners, who is an emergency/trauma center doctor turned medical missionary, attended a tropical medicine seminar. He was astonished to learn the following - over one hundred medical practitioners agreed that three ongoing medical clinics a day, in any given tropical region in the world, wouldn't have as much impact on addressing a community's health as simply addressing their need for clean drinking water.
By providing a source of clean, safe drinking water to those in need, we are preventing waterborne diseases and circumventing the need to treat it. For those without access to doctors and antibiotics, this prevention is literally live saving.
Katherine Payne and Katherine Payne Photography is proud to be part of this effort and was nominated and selected as one of the Professional Photographers for the 2011 Thirst Relief Mentor Auction.