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Eliminate Water Related Illness          Rainwater Harvesting          Youth and Adult Empowerment

Eliminate Water Related Illness

Water conditionsDid you know that you can purify water with an empty bottle and sunlight, or with sand and a bucket, or by simply storing it for three days? Most people don’t. Do you know how to make soap out of ashes and fat or any vegetable oil and that by washing your hands you can eliminate 50% of your diarrhea problem? Do you know how to make an effective, dignified latrine out of adobe or tree branches? Most people don’t yet these are the keys to eliminating 80% of the water related illness for billions of people. They can do it themselves once they are enrolled to do it for life.

Effective Solutions

Water conditionsNature Healing Nature offers a solution that may not be as convenient as a flush toilet or piped water to the home but it can be just as effective at eliminating water related illness. We instill community led incentive and then show people how to clean their water, and build safe dignified latrines out of materials that they can find at their feet. We empower them to take ownership and help themselves.

It starts with talking to and working with other organizations in the area like CARE Int’l., PLAN, JVE, Seeds of Hope, Agualimpia, SODIS, CREPA, FONCODES and others. We visit the remote villages, slums, and farmers taking at least 20 of the local NGO staff with us to train – that’s how we build capacity and keep the ball rolling. We begin all visits asking the people ‘what do they want’ now and ten years from now – for themselves, their families, and their communities. Invariably they say they do not want to be sick with diarrhea any more. This is when things start to happen.

We are all oneWe make a social map with the community members and leaders. This is when all kinds of truths and needs emerge. We look for and enlist the latent leaders; usually women and youth. Within an hour or two powerful things happen. First; they admit to themselves and to us that they have a diarrhea problem - its human nature everywhere to ignore problems that we think we are powerless to do anything about. 40% to 60% of the people that we visit admit that they have runny diarrhea right then! Second; they are motivated and inspired to do something about it right now – for themselves. It is a beautiful powerful moment.

Only now do we talk to them about how they can clean their water using sunlight and an empty bottle, or a bucket with sand, or by simply storing the water for a few days. We talk to them about making hand soap and dignified latrines out of thatch or adobe. We never do anything for them – it is for them to do it all – with their own leadership. This allows them to take ownership of solutions and to be able to maintain what they make. Women are enrolled to be the motivators for long term solutions and the youth are encouraged to be the monitors within the community.

We need about $177,000 a year to reduce diarrhea for 600,000 people by 80% in three years.  Every dollar and airline mileage point you contribute goes directly to helping villagers and slum dwellers help themselves. Please consider making a generous tax free donation now.

Rainwater Harvesting

RainwaterActually it all started here. As an engineer, Mark Illian has done many projects relating to water purification for heavy industry – pharmaceutical companies, steel mills, petrochemical plants, even hazardous waste incineration facilities. While visiting farmers in the south and Midwest America it became apparent that many of their water wells offered a rotten egg smell caused by hydrogen sulfide. This web site was originally planned for the farmers, suggesting inexpensive ways to have more palatable water. While researching the options it was clear that there was a far more perverse problem in the world regarding water borne illness and the solution could actually be very simple.

You and I and most ten year olds in the world know how to prepare eggs for breakfast but few know how to clean their water. It’s easy. You can simply set clear water aside for three days in a small mouth jar and 87% of the harmful bacteria will die because there is no more source of food. You and I would get sick if we drank it, but not the billion plus people contending with dirty water every day in the world. You can also fill a clear plastic bottle with water and put it in the sun for six hours and the same UV rays that give you a sun burn destroy the ability for the bacteria to reproduce! Bacteria only live for a few hours so 99% of harmful e-coli are dead within six hours. Think of the billions of empty bottles we throw away each year and how they could be used to save lives.

Center for Rainwater Harvesting

We invite you to browse the website. We’re still adding to it and we need your help to fund the research that goes into it. It costs $36,000 a year to keep it dynamic and usable for anyone from non-profit field workers [we use a lot of pictograms] to wealthy westerners . . . please consider helping us out with a tax free donation.

Youth and Adult Empowerment

4 studentsWe have been working with youth and adults on how to listen to nature (and ourselves) for answers since 1991. Most of this work has been in the Houston area either at The Blackwood Educational Land Institute or in local middle schools. We pick a topic and look for metaphors in Nature as solutions. One of our projects was in a middle school where they had an over run pond that needed attention. We used it as an outdoor project to ask “Are we ponds”, do we have things that we need to take out of our lives, put into our lives, or keep in our lives? As we worked on the pond, to a beautiful conclusion, we explored how we might have sentenced ourselves and what it is that we need to do to free ourselves of self imposed limitations. The pond is now absolutely beautiful as are perhaps, the lives of those we touched.

Making adobe bricksAnother program is to offer Rite of Passage Ceremony to youth, their parents and other adults. We all go through passages in life such as a child-to-adult, death, divorce, marriage, new job, a birth, etc. This and other types of ceremonies are offered as a way to delve into the messages being brought to us. These unique ceremonies have been given to us by a Native American Medicine Man and Shaman Joseph Rael [Beautiful Painted Arrow] and are respectful of Native American ceremonial privacy. They offer a struggle because it is during struggle that our minds and hearts are often most open. The programs offer a safe container to explore our own answers, outdoors, with nothing but Nature, our own inner knowing, and our connection to everything around us as the source for answers. It is a beautiful way to find out “why we are here”, what unique talents we bring to the world, and how to take those talents into fruition – living a life of power with joy.

We would like for you to consider NHN being your organization for making a difference in people’s lives in a profound way. The empowerment program budget is $9000 per year and your donation makes things happen. Donate here and please call us if you want to talk more about this program.

Your Donation Makes All This Possible

We recognize your contribution as hard earned and perhaps your most global means for helping others. We are committed to using your contribution to create personal fulfillment for both you and the people you’ll serve. Please consider making a generous contribution of money and airline miles right now.

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