In 2015, the United Nations, through their 2030 Agenda, released a list of Sustainable Development Goals to provide direction on how to tackle the world’s most pressing issues. This list is advertised as “17 Goals to Transform Our World”. Although these goals represent many areas in which the world needs to improve, their applicability varies by context and by scale. As part of our mandate, we focus on the goals pertaining to water, health, and education. In our communities, these fundamental needs are dire. We believe that water, health, and education are what is needed to transform lives and fuel sustainable self-growth and development.
Basic Needs for Lasting Change
We believe that focusing on these three areas enables communities to develop autonomously – in a way they see fit for themselves. Our aim is to help impoverished communities take control of their futures. We advocate for dignity, agency, and self-determination. We aren’t saviours, we’re partners.
For the communities we work in, water, health, and education represent the cornerstones of a better life. Our philosophy is simple:
Clean water sustains life.
Good health enriches life.
Education fosters hope.
When you have hope, you plan for the future.
Without Water, there can be No Health • Without Health, there can be No Education • Without Education, there is No Hope.
Each one provides the foundation for the next. The latter enhances the former. They’re all interconnected.
Water shouldn’t hurt. But for many, it can kill. Water is a paradox – while it is the essence of life, it can also cause great anguish. Each day, an estimated 1,000 children die due to water-related diarrheal diseases.
Water scarcity affects an upward of 40% of the global population. It often requires a significant amount of time and energy to obtain. In your home, pure, uncontaminated water flows from a tap. For many poor communities, woman and girls have to walk for miles to fetch water of questionable quality. All the while, carrying buckets that can weigh up to 80 pounds on their heads. One slip, trip, or fall could mean no water for an entire day.
Accessible and reliable local clean water can revitalize communities. It can promote good health and empower young girls to attend school. It may also be the difference between a healthy harvest and starvation. We support clean water by installing water filters, repairing wells, and constructing tanks. We also support sanitation and hygiene by implementing other water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) systems.
Health and poverty are intricately linked. For children less than 5 years old, those born into poverty are almost twice as likely to die than those born into a wealthy family. Additionally, medical care, when available, could be a day’s walk away over unforgiving terrain.
The vast majority of illnesses in developing countries are preventable and easy to treat. An unacceptable number of children under the age of 5 will die from preventable illnesses like malaria, diarrhea, and malnutrition. The absence of prenatal and delivery care has led to high rates of maternal mortality.
There is some good news – HATN’s partnerships have been proven to be effective. Where women once gave birth on the mud floors of their homes they now receive professional medical care in a birthing center. Pregnancy and birth is no longer a frightening experience. The medical center and pharmacy have not only changed the communities they are in, but they now draw people in from miles away seeking treatment for conditions, injuries, and diseases. Diseases that used to be life-threatening.
Water and health save lives. Education builds them. Education allows people to control them. Education provides people with the opportunity to fulfill their own destiny.
Do you remember the emotions you had the first day you went to school? How about the joyful years you spent acquiring knowledge? Often taken for granted, those healthy years spent developing skills ultimately paved the way for the life you have today.
In impoverished nations, it’s not uncommon for children to lack basic education. It is normal for young women to be raising their own children without the rudimentary reading and math skills every family relies on. HATN believes education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. When kids learn to read and write they acquire the skills they need to move beyond subsistence. With education, the possibilities are endless. We support education by building schools, sponsoring staff, and providing supplies. By night, we support women’s education – righting the wrong of a missed opportunity at a dignified education.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Help us provide communities with plentiful, safe, and accessible water. A reliable water supply, proper sanitation, and informed hygiene can make the world of difference.
Help us to sustain our existing clinics and build new ones. Local clinics rescue and transform lives every day. People should no longer be dying from treatable diseases.
Help us support and expand our schools. Donate for school supplies. Education the key to unlocking the potential of these communities. It is their right, they need to exercise it.