Johanna Budzilowicz wrote -
This is a picture of Carmen and her family. Like a lot of people in Mexico City, they have major access to water issues, sometimes going for weeks without water in the faucet while floods are happening outside their door during the rainy season. Thankfully, there is a way that Carmen can take control and maintain self-sufficient and sustainable access to clean water.
My good friend, Enrique Lomnitz, founded a charity called Isla Urbana in 2009 to find a sustainable solution to the growing water crisis in Mexico City that is economically, environmentally and socially beneficial to all individuals. He developed an innovative rain-water harvesting system, and Isla Urbana is now the only NGO in Mexico City providing harvesting systems to people in low income neighborhoods.
Since 2009 Isla Urbana has installed 521 systems, reaching 3,716 people and harvesting 10,400,000 litres of water. They've been named one of the top three best-practice organizations by the UN, were finalists in the 2010 BBC World Challenge competition, and attended this year's Clinton Global Initiative.
And that's not all -they are a real part of the community. They collaborate with local government, train plumbers in the community to help install systems, organize reforestation projects and cleaning of green spaces, and host free events for children including mural painting, movies and soccer games.
I think it is such an amazing project, not just because it's an innovative and thoughtful solution to a growing problem, or because I believe that access to clean water is a human right, but because it also gives people a concrete way to take an active and positive role in their homes and in their communities.
So, I want to help Carmen get her system! For my birthday this year, I'm asking everyone to give a little to Isla Urbana. A complete rainwater harvesting system for a family costs $500. That means that f I can get 50 people to give just $10 - Carmen has her system and we're supporting a great organization. And I can guarantee that 100% of this money will go directly to the system for Carmen and her family. I'm already talking to the Isla Urbana team - Enrique, Dave and Jen - who are so excited. If I raise the money they'll let me know when the system is installed, they'll send photos - and I'll keep everyone updated.
I hope you can join me! Whatever amount you can donate is amazing - $5, $10, $20. Every little bit will help. You can also donate directly to the organization through their website, www.IslaUrbana.org, but send me a quick note to let me know so I can add it to the grand total!
And definitely check out Isla Urbana's website for a ton of great updates, pictures and more information on the water crisis and how rain water harvesting can help!
Thanks so much!!