Certain Action in Uncertain Times
To say the last few years have been tumultuous would be an understatement. Amid a global pandemic, a constantly shifting economic environment, and social and political upheavals (both in the U.S. and Nigeria), certainty about most things is very hard to come by. Uncertainty inevitably produces insecurity and sometimes results in inaction. An exciting development has been the level and nature of support our partners gave during these difficult times.
Since 2018 (the year of our first water project), we have seen consistent year-over-year increases in financial support and water project completion. When examining this progress, such growth in challenging times is initially confounding; however, it makes perfect sense after contemplating our mission's imminence and our partners' commitment.
The Urgency of the Mission
The United Nations has placed water development and sustainability as a very high priority. Specifically, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States, has designated sustainable management of water and sanitation for all as Sustainable Development Goal 6. While we have made significant progress in our micro mission (over 16,000 people provided clean water every day), according to a 2019 report by the WHO and UNICEF, worldwide, one in three lacks access to safe drinking water (UNICEF and the World Health Organization, 2019). Many experts believe that COVID-19 has increased the number of people without access to safe drinking water, effectively making the mission even more critical.
Living up to the Commitment
Committing to lasting change is not something to be taken lightly, as commitment quickly turns into responsibility, and responsibility demands persistence, determination, and stick-to-itiveness. As we have journeyed the road of our mission, I haven't completely understood many things. These things have been geological, operational, cultural, and even political; however, these challenges have not inhibited my drive toward our target. Conversely, I have found that amid the things I don't understand, I have found success in pressing into the things I do understand; and I understand that hope and life come when people help people.
The Force of Stick-to-itiveness
Merriam-Webster defines stick-to-itiveness as dogged perseverance or tenacity. Regardless of a person's calling, to stick to it, one must be tenacious and even a little obsessed. Obsession is often thought of as unfavorable; however, obsessions uplifting others make for win-wins; and in the case of the provision of clean water, obsession is life-changing (often life saving).
UNICEF and the World Health Organization. (2019, June 18). 1 in 3 people globally do not have access to safe drinking water – UNICEF, WHO. Retrieved from World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/news/item/18-06-2019-1-in-3-people-globally-do-not-have-access-to-safe-drinking-water-unicef-who