Have you ever thought what it might be like to not have access to clean water? To have to travel for it for an hour each way through a mountain trail, carrying the weight of it on your back to your home, only to get up and do that again the next day as well?
Ever since growing up as a child I have done my best to water conscious. My father was very strict about our water usage; it might be because being from Brasil he grew up more mindful of how precious this natural resource is, not to mention he was in the Navy so he never understood the need to stand under a long hot shower. Showers were to quickly get cleaned and start your day, pronto!
Water is life, we need it for everything. It helps us grow our food, hydrate ourselves, clean ourselves, and in something I need it for daily it helps make my morning coffee! We also need it to run our toilets, have showers and some even utilize it for leisure. Water is a resource that we need to protect, keep clean and help others have access to. The United Nations considers universal access to clean water as a basic human right, yet so many live with dirty polluted water, in which they travel often by foot for miles a day just to access. This dirty often carries diseases that can kill people, leaving others often sick by the host or water-related ailments. When communities don’t have access to water they are also economically poor. Leaving them stuck in a cycle of poverty.
Photography has brought me so many amazing experiences and I am excited to share that in January, I will be traveling with HOPE International to Parrequena, Guatemala to photograph the completion of their clean water project. As part of my volunteering with HOPE, I have the goal of fundraising $2500 for Parrequena and villages like it that don’t have access to clean water. I would love your help in reaching my goal. You can make a one-time donation or consider becoming a monthly donor through my fundraising page: MICHELE’S FUNDRAISING PAGE
WHY I WANT TO SUPPORT THE WORK HOPE DOES
In 2016 I was taking a photography class at Langara and met Rainbow Choi, Program Manager for HOPE, and I am pretty sure one of the kindest purest human beings I have ever met in my life. She shared what she did for work with me and I was instantly intrigued. As someone who studied Social Justice in my undergrad, I have always wanted to do International Development work but the opportunity never presented itself. I have always made a commitment to be active in my local community and after talking to Rainbow and learning more about HOPE she re-ignited my interest in doing volunteer work beyond our borders as well. She invited me to join their trip to Guatelama to help document the opening of a clean water system that they have been working on and I instantly said yes! What could be more amazing than using my skills and sharing my passion for photography than helping document such an important celebration for the villagers of Parrequena and for HOPE. I feel blessed that I am able to do this and so grateful for any help you can offer.
When asked to join HOPE on this trip I researched them, a lot! I wanted to ensure this was an organization I could align my personal values with and quickly found that it was.
“HOPE International Development Agency exists to improve the supply of basic human necessities for the neediest of the developing world through self-help activities, and to challenge, educate, and involve people in the developed world regarding development issues.” – HOPE International Development Agency
HOW THEY DO WORK