About the Founder
One of the things I enjoy is photography. I like taking pictures and looking at photos other people take. In fact, I first learned about the world water crisis through photographs. In 2010, I was surfing the Internet and saw a photo essay on Blue Planet Run that provided a window into the lives of people living without access to safe water. The photos were pretty amazing, but the story they told was unbelievable. Like most people, I knew there were water shortages in the world, but it wasn’t until I saw the photographs that I started to understand the magnitude of the crisis. Sometimes pictures can tell a story better than words can ever describe.
I learned that one of every eight people – nearly a billion people in all – lack access to clean drinking water. And, the problem is going to get a lot worse if we don’t do something - even if it is something small.
One of the great things about the Internet is how easy it is to find information. I started researching the world water crisis and watched a YouTube video that showed a boy my age drinking out of a water source alongside animals. I could not imagine having to do this to survive. If you are fortunate like me, you have never had to worry about where your next drink of water is coming from, much less whether it can kill you.
However, every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-related illness. Every 20 seconds! I knew I had to try and do something to change that number. Students For Safe Water is a way for me to do two things: (1) make a small impact on what may be the biggest global health issue of my lifetime, and (2) tell the story through pictures in a way that hopefully calls other people to action.
By educating people and raising awareness and funds, I hope to make a difference. All students interested in this cause should educate themselves and speak up. Talk to other students, youth groups, church members and business groups. I started a club on my high school campus and speak to elementary and middle school students about the issue. Most everyone I speak to wants to make an impact in the world and help others. Often, they just don’t know how to get started. But, it doesn’t take much effort to educate your community, help to raise funds, or volunteer your time. This crisis is one that can be resolved if we all do our part.
To date, Students For Safe water has raised over $100,000 and provided improved sanitation and safe water to over 3000 people in rural villages in the developing world.
If you don’t have a lot of time or money, but want to do something to positively impact a life, consider donating to our $20 Superhero initiative. 100% of your donation will go towards funding water and sanitation projects in the developing world. Each of us has a personal responsibility to be charitable to our neighbors, whether they live next door or across the world. Remember, it doesn’t take much to help save a life.
If you are a student who would like to start your own club, raise awareness or join me on my journey, I will help you any way I can. Together, we can bring safe water and basic sanitation to everyone. Please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can formulate a plan to help spread the word together.
Students For Safe Water is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, EIN: 45-2037163. All donations are tax deductible.
Carter Jimenez Jenkins
Founder, Students for Safe Water