Walk/Run w/ Lisa for Girls and Water!
#Iwalkforgirlsandwater because women and girls shouldn’t be walking for water, AND because SHE changed my life and I hope to help change hers.
Join me in 10 walks/runs or 10 activities over the next 10 days for the 10 hours a day SHE walks for water—which she continues to do during COVID increasing her risk and struggle—and help me raise $700 for a taanka (well) for a family.
A 💦 and WomenServe Story
My friend Tracy said it best back in 2018 on my first volunteer trip to India with WomenServe & Traditional Medicinals Wellness Teas via Whole Planet Foundation:
💦 “We went to India, dug a hole, and filled it with our tears.” 💦 -Tracy Clow
That hole was a Taanka, a rainwater harvesting tank/well, common to the Thar Desert region of Rajasthan, India. It provides water security to an entire household for 3-6 months and MOST IMPORTANTLY frees women and girls from WALKING UP TO 10 HOURS A DAY FOR WATER in one of the hottest places in the world.
Yes, I just said FREES WOMEN AND GIRLS from WALKING UP TO 10 HOURS A DAY FOR WATER. Can you imagine? Walking hours just to get 💦 to wash your and your family’s hands during COVID, 💦 to feed and bathe your family, 💦 care for your animals and plants.
I couldn’t until I saw and felt it, and heard her stories AND also saw a Taanka and what it provided her.
I will never forget having chai tea with Pushpa at her home—a one-room cow dung hut with a dirt floor—and talking about life before and after receiving her taanka. I asked her through a translator what dreams she had growing up. The translator and her went back and forth and in the midst of this the translator looked at me and said, “they don’t have a word for dream.” A minute later the translator relayed Pushpa’s answer which was, “I used to play in a field with my friend and then I got married.”
I had a visceral reaction. Felt it in the depths of my soul. How could someone not know what a dream was, or have them? By not having your basic needs met. By being perpetually oppressed. By not being educated. It sobered me to my abundant privilege and changed my perspective, me, and ultimately my life forever.
I learned so much more that day. How having 💦 and not having to walk has improved her and her family’s health. She gets to “sleep in,” and doesn’t have the constant worry that she used to. Her daughters go to school. She is planning to join the Thar Artisan Collective (TAC) to make crafts and sell them. She has the ability to give her daughters and self a better future all because of 💦. And know what else? Despite all of her hardship and not knowing what a dream was or being able to have them for that matter, her heart was more open than most people I meet and she shared it fully with me. And I felt that viscerally too. It taught me to unlock a part of my heart. It was one of the most powerful experiences I recall in recent memory. So when Tracy said, “we went to India, dug a hole, and filled it with our tears” this lends a fraction of insight as to why.
WomenServe, along with its supporters and friends in the U.S. and India, including the village communities it serves, have helped dig/build more than 550 taankas over the last 10 years which has changed the lives of Pushpa and 25,000 other people. In addition to taankas, WomenServe’s programs have put 2,500 girls in school, improved the health of thousands of women and girls through its health & hygiene programs, and helped women learn a trade to generate income through TAC (Thar Artisan Collective).
COVID has had a disproportionate impact on girls and women globally. WomenServe has been relentlessly focused on maintaining programming while also shifting resources to health, hygiene, and sanitation education specific to COVID to ensure the safety of women and girls in rural villages where information and resources come last.
A taanka is $700 and I’m hoping to raise this over the next 10 days as I do 10 walks and runs during WomenServe’s annual (now virtual) fundraiser. Anything helps. Thank you in advance ✌🏽🤍💙💦