Do you ever get the feeling that there is so much in your life you’re taking for granted? The small things we do, as parents, to keep our children safe. We feed them, we clothe them, we bathe them. We make sure they have a warm bed each night, clean water to drink and good food to eat. We teach them how to use a knife and fork, how to tie their shoe laces and why they must wash their hands after using the bathroom.
But what if just having a bathroom to use was the thing we were taking for granted?
There is a global sanitation crisis happening right now; a crisis I was never aware of yesterday. As I was lamenting the fact that my toddler won’t sit on the toilet… another mother was hoping against hope that her own son would recover from a horrific illness caused by insufficient sanitation. As I worried that he would be in nappies forever, she was wishing she even had a clean toilet to use. As I tried to persuade my son to just sit for a minute at least, another mother was worrying about the waste that was being flushed into her community and the weeks of missed school because of illnesses.
We are worlds apart.
According to UNICEF, 37% of the global population do not have proper, clean toilets and are at risk of fatal diseases due to contamination and a lack of adequate hygiene. The small things we take for granted are not even there for some families. Sanitation borne diseases currently contribute towards the deaths of 3,000 children every day. Every day! For a child to die simply because he does not have a toilet…this is what another mother has to think about.
UNICEF has formed a partnership with the Unilever Foundation and Domestos in a bid to put an end to this sanitation crisis.UNICEF’s Community Approaches to Sanitation Program (CATS) aims to “raise awareness and find solutions to the global sanitation crisis” and you can help. From today, specially marked bottles of Domestos are on sale which will contribute 5%of average proceeds to CATS programs in South Sudan and Vietnam.
If you’d like to know more about the partnership between Domestos and UNICEF, you can read more here. There are case studies, badges for Facebook and Twitter and even a colouring/ activity book to download for children. If you want to help, look out for the specially marked bottles of Domestos next time you do your grocery shop during the months of July and August.
And the next time I find myself worrying about whether or not my toddler will use a potty or sit on the toilet, I’m going to think twice. For the small things that I take for granted are the big things for that other mother. I can flush my toilet and try another day. She may not have another day at all.