It is said that up to 71% of our planet is covered with water. We are inhabiting the only planet in a radius of several thousand light years that has consistently enough water to support life. However, this is also the same the planet in which, according to CDC, an estimated 780 million people (almost 11% of the world population) do not have clean drinking water.

It can be argued that most of the earth’s water (about 96.5%) are held by the oceans and is therefore too salty and unsafe to drink. Drinkable water has been estimated to make up about 2.5% of all earth’s water. Some of this quantity is trapped under glaciers and snowfields, leaving only 1% of earth’s freshwater accessible. In essence, [less than] 0.007 percent of the planet’s water is available to fuel and feed its [ever growing population].

This is a crisis.

For various reasons, developing countries are affected more by the planet’s water scarcity than their industrialised counterparts. According data from water.org, getting clean drinking water can be quite difficult in those countries.

In Kenya, a non-profit organization called Give Power has designed a solar-powered desalination system that can produce 19,800 gallons (75,000 liters) of fresh drinking water every day.

In order to tackle this [water crisis] challenge, a non-profit organization called Give Power designed a desalination system that uses solar energy to pump out fresh drinking water [from] salty ocean water. The water treatment plant that began operating in July 2018 can produce 19,800 gallons (75,000 liters) of fresh drinking water every day which is enough for 25,000 people. This has considerably improved the lives of residents in Kiunga, a small coastal town in Kenya.

The rest of the story can be found here.

Give Power

Source: Give Power

This is the 30th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are: Damyanti BiswasLizbeth HartzShilpa GargSimon Falk and myself.

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To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List

My last #WATWB post was about a Greek man who has devoted his life to saving dogs.

For this month’s We Are The World Blogfest (#WATWB), I bring you a similar story albeit from a different part of the world and under different circumstances.

The story of Chella Phillips from Bahamas who rescued 97 dogs from Hurricane Dorian.

In early September, Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas, reducing thousands of homes to rubble in its wake. Hurricane Dorian was the most intense tropical cyclone on record to strike the Bahamas, and is regarded as the worst natural disaster in the country’s history.

Hurricane Dorian hovered over the Bahamas for nearly 48 hours, with torrential rains and wind gusts reaching over 220 mph wreaking havoc on the small island nation. An estimated 13,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, according to the Red Cross.

As residents across the Bahamas prepared for the hurricane, Phillips opened her home to 97 dogs.

A woman in the Bahamas says she has taken in nearly 100 dogs displaced by Hurricane Dorian. Chella Phillips, who runs Voiceless Dogs of Nassau, a small organization aimed at helping stray dogs in the capital city, said she took 97 dogs into her house as the hurricane slammed into the island on Sunday.

Seventy-nine of the dogs were sheltering in her master bedroom, Phillips wrote on Facebook. “It has been insane since last night,” she wrote, “poop and piss non stop but at least they are respecting my bed and nobody has dared to jump in.”

Phillips said she played music and blasted the air conditioner for the dogs. She also received some donated crates, which were needed for the scared and sick pups.

“The saddest part is that after the hurricane leave the Bahamas, some islands will take a long time to recover,” Phillips wrote in the now-viral post. “Each island has abundance of homeless dogs, my heart is so broken for the ones without a place to hide a CAT 5 monster and only God can protect them now.”

As rising waters from the storm surge enveloped whole neighborhoods, people — and animals — became displaced or worse. If not for Phillips, the fate of at least 97 dogs in Nassau would be unknown.

The rest of Phillips’ story can be found here, here, and here.

Chella Phillips

Chella Phillips

This is the 29th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are:  Sylvia McGrathLizbeth HartzShilpa GargMary Gieseand Belinda Witzenhausen welcome participants and encourage all to join in.

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To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List

It is said that a dog is man’s best friend but I have wondered whether dogs feel the same way about the relationship or whether it is a relationship decided only by the human party. For our best friends with superhuman abilities–faithful, grateful, loyal, protective, understanding, enduring, uncomplaining, undemanding, loving absolutely, and able to live happily on just leftovers and in sketchy shelters–we sure don’t treat them as they deserve. So many dogs are homeless in the world, starving, emaciated, sick and scared of their self-declared “best friends”. The government of Kenya, for instance, recently allocated the equivalent of one million dollars to get rid of stray dogs in Nairobi. I have felt that the way we treat dogs says more about our society than about the dogs.

For this episode of We Are The World Blogfest (#WATWB), I bring you the story of an exceptional Greek man named Theoklitos Proestakis (Takis for short), who has saved over 300 dogs from neglect, starvation, and certain death. He saves them from the garbage dump where they are abandoned to die.

One day six years ago, Theoklitos Proestakis was curious about his local garbage dump on the Greek island of Crete, where he lives. So, he decided to pay a visit. A dog he met there completely changed his life forever.

Proestakis, or Takis for short, told CBS News he came upon an injured dog among the trash and knew he had a responsibility to help it. He took the pup to the veterinarian and got it the medical care it so desperately needed. Proestakis said he didn’t have space in his house at the time to bring the homeless dog with him, so he put the pup back in the rubbish area. But, he came by every day to see the dog and give it medicine.

Then, more dogs began to appear from the trash. “Another dog and another dog and another dog,” recounted Proestakis. “I was taking care of 50 dogs. After a few days, I was taking care of 70 dogs. Every single day.”

He fed and provided medical care for the dogs for nearly a year, before people living nearby the dump began to complain that the dogs were causing trouble. Proestakis said the neighbors told him they were thinking of poisoning the pups, but he was determined not to let that happen. So, he asked the disgruntled people for 30 days to find a place to take the dogs.

He managed to purchase a piece of land that he now uses as a shelter for the dogs. He now cares for 342 dogs that he has rescued. There are also goats and cats in the shelter. With the help of like-minded donors, Takis is able to keep the place running, even as more dogs are rescued everyday.

The rest of Takis’s story can be found here.

Takis

Theoklitos Proestakis with rescued puppies. CBS News photo

This is the 27th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are:   Susan Scott, Shilpa Garg, Mary J. Giese, Damyanti Biswas, and myself.

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To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List

In Iowa, US, a carpenter from a humble background saved his earnings over the course of his life and used them to send 33 people to college. People he had never met and would never meet.

Dale Schroeder was a simple, humble man from Iowa, who ended up changing the lives of 33 people forever. Schroeder worked as a carpenter at the same company for 67 years. He grew up poor and had no wife or children of his own.

His friend Steve Nielsen described Schroeder as a “blue collar, lunch pail kind of guy.”

When he died in 2005, no one could have guessed how rich Schroeder really was. “He had church jeans and work jeans,” Nielsen said.

Schroeder had saved up a fortune over the years. He had no living descendants, so before he died, he went to his lawyer with a plan for his money.

“He said, ‘I never got the opportunity to go to college. So, I’d like to help kids go to college,'” Nielsen said. Not only did Schroeder have enough money to send a few kids to college, he had enough saved to send dozens.

The rest of Dale Schroeder’s story can be found here.

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Dale Schroeder, photo from Newsweek

This is the 26th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are:  Shilpa Garg, Simon Falk , Damyanti BiswasLizbeth Hartz and Eric Lahti.

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To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List

This is the heartfelt and heartwarming story of a woman forced to defend her daughter (and herself) from three rapists in the middle of the night.

Back in 2017, a South African woman named Nokubonga Qampi received a phone call in the middle of the night telling her that her daughter was being raped by three men. Her daugher, Siphokazi, had been visiting her friends who went out at 1.30am and left her alone and asleep. Sometime later, three men she knew well, who had been drinking nearby, attacked her.

Nokubonga’s first response was to call the police, but there was no answer. She knew, anyway, that it would take them time to reach her village, in the rolling green and brown hills of South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.

She was the only person that could help.

“I was scared, but then I was forced to go because it was my daughter,” she said.

“I was thinking that when I get there, she might be dead… Because she knew the perpetrators, and because they knew her and knew she knows them, they might think they had to kill her so she couldn’t report them.”

“I took it for me, for walking the distance between here and where the incident was taking place, because it is not safe,” she says. “It was dark and I had to use the torch on my phone to light the way.”

She heard her daughter’s screams as she approached the house. On entering the bedroom, the light from her phone enabled her to make out the awful sight of her daughter being raped.

“I was scared… I just stood by the door and asked what they were doing. When they saw it was me, they came charging towards me, that’s when I thought that I needed to defend myself, it was an automatic reaction,” Nokubonga says.

The rest of Nokubonga’s story can be found here. BBC podcast can be found here.

Lion Mama

Siphokazi and Nokubonga in January, 16 months after the attack. BBC photo.

This is the 24th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are: Shilpa Garg, Dan AntionMary GieseSimon Falk , Damyanti Biswas.

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To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List

In March this year, one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere, caused catastrophic damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, leaving more than 1,000 people dead and thousands more missing. Hundreds of thousands were displaced. Homes were destroyed and livelihoods wiped out. Hunger, starvation, homelessness and diseases soon took hold over the region. According to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA), about 1.85million people were affected by Cyclone Idai.

In the face of this destruction and death, several heroes emerged. The world responded positively to the disaster with donations pouring in from governments, individuals, and organizations such as WFP, UNICEF, MSF, OCHA, UNISDR, Samaritan’s Purse, and others. South Africans responded generously to their Zimbabwean neighbours’ plight, sending donations from the citizens, companies and members of the Diplomatic Corps to help the victims of the Cyclone.

One 71-year old grandmother named Plaxedes Dilon, a native of Zimbabwe, walked over ten miles to donate clothes to the unfortunate victims of the Cyclone. She had bought the clothes to resell but when she heard about the devastation wreaked by Cyclone Idai, she decided to donate them instead.

Her selfless action drew the attention of the Zimbabwe’s richest man who then promised to build her a house.

Plaxedes Dilon trudged on foot from near her home in downtown Harare to the Highlands Presbyterian Church to donate bundles of clothes to victims.

She heard about the devastation of Cyclone Idai, which has killed more than 700 people, on the radio after spending a long day selling clothing and decided to offer her wares to charity.

Church volunteers posted a photo of Ms Dilon with a sack balanced on her head, adding she could not afford to pay for a bus from her neighbourhood of Mbare. 

Her selfless act went viral and was noticed by Zimbabwe’s richest man, Strive Masiyiwa, who offered to build Ms Dilon a home wherever she wants in the country.

The rest of Dillon’s story can be found here, here, and here.

Dilon

Plaxedes Dilon walked over ten miles to the Highlands Presbyterian Church in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare to deliver donations to cyclone survivors. Source: Daily Mail UK

This is the 23th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are: Shilpa GargInderpreet UppalLizbeth HartzEric Lahti and myself.

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To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List

For years, Saja Pahad village in Chhattisgarh’s Koriya district (in India) faced water shortage. Villagers found it difficult to quench the thirst of their cattle, but they did not know what to do. And the government, too, did nothing.

Then one day 15-year-old Shyam Lal decided to take his spade and dig a pond. Fellow villagers laughed at him. But the tribal teenager was determined.

Lal identified a spot in the forest in and kept digging — for 27 years, according to villagers.

The result is nothing less than that of Bihar’s mountain man, Dashrath Manjhi — a one-acre 15-feet deep pond, which is filled with the elixir of life.

“No one helped me in my work, neither the administration nor the villagers,” the 42-year-old beams proudly, adding that he did it for the welfare of the people and the cattle of his village.

Villagers hail him as a role model and saviour. Ramsaran Bargar (70), a local who witnessed Shyam toil through the years, says, “The pond is now used by everyone and we are all thankful to him.”

Sources said Saja Pahad, which lies near a hillock under Chirimiri, still does not have electricity or proper road connectivity. The only source of water for the villagers is a couple of wells.

Lal’s work comes as a relief at a time Chhattisgarh is suffering from drought-like situation this year. The rainfall has been 10% short of the average over 10 years. District collectors have been directed to ensure proper utilisation of irrigation facilities.

Shyam Lal.2

Shyam Lal. Photo credit: hindustantimes.com

This is the 21th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are: Inderpreet Uppal Shilpa Garg,  Sylvia McGrath , Belinda WitzenHausen, and myself.

watw-turquoise-badge-275-x241-white

To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List

 

If you would like to help out in saving a school, you could also sign up for theValentine’s Day :Show the Love , Save a School Blogathon . It is easy to join–just write about someone/ something you love. You can combine it with your WATWB post.
 
You could also chip in to the fundraiser here, only if you’re so inclined.