charity: water – PlumAlley.co and Monique Peán
By Charlotte Kellogg
September 11, 2012
Lack of safe drinking water has a major impact on women, as women and children typically bear more of the burden in times of water shortage and crisis. They often walk miles to the nearest water source, which is unprotected and likely to make them sick. On their journey to find water, women can be subjected to harassment and sexual assault. Carrying the heavy containers can cause spinal damage and severe back pain. Once they find water, they are not out of harm’s way. They are vulnerable to water-borne illnesses like E.coli, salmonella, cholera, and hepatitis A.
Monique Peán, the first founder being profiled on PlumAlley.co, has been collaborating with charity: water since 2009. The organization was founded by Scott Harrison in 2006 to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. Monique has pledged to donate 5% of the proceeds of her sale on PlumAlley.co to the charity:water, an amount that PlumAlley.co will match.
By providing easily accessible, safe drinking water, charity:water enables women to be protected from both violence and sickness. Time spent collecting water can be replaced by time spent attending school or working. Access to clean water reduces the chance of sickness and injury to the village, creating new education and career opportunities.
When a well is built in a village, in addition to providing clean drinking water, women are given leadership positions to oversee their new water source. Seeing one village’s success compels other villages to petition for their own water source, opening the door for many more women leaders in developing countries.