A Preventable Tragedy

Elin's mother, Mercy, sits with her surviving children under a tree near thier home.

Elin's mother, Mercy, sits with her surviving children under a tree near thier home.

“No words were needed to understand her pain.” These were my thoughts as I looked at Mercy Juwa sitting under the tree with her four boys. But this family portrait was incomplete because her five-year-old little girl, Elin, was not there. She tragically died two months eariler from diarrhea caused by drinking unclean water gathered from a river.

Sitting in a circle in front of their thatched hut, the father explained how they tried to save her by taking her to two clinics, but the waterborne disease struck fast and she was dead in less than 24 hours.

Click to DonateThis is exactly why our group www.IfYouKnew.org is working so hard to bring access to clean water and educate people about these needless deaths.

This family is now full of fear that the other children could also die. They don’t want to drink unsafe water, but have no other options.

Elin's aunt shows us where the little girl used to sleep.

Elin's aunt shows us where the little girl used to sleep.

As we were leaving, I approached the mother, put my hand on my heart and extended my arm towards her. She knew I was very sorry for her loss and nodded in acknowledgement of my condolence.

If your heart is moved to help, it’s very simple. Please text 2LIFE to 20222 — your $10 donation will provide a child access to clean water for five years.

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About Karen Oddy James

I believe that everyone can Be Compelling. As a Communications Strategist, I leverage my experience as an award-winning news reporter, public relations executive, published author and national speaker to help businesses, and individuals enhance and maximize their communication skills. Compelling communication skills, online and offline, are essential to personal and professional success. Helping others succeed is why my company, James Relations, focuses on providing communication programs and training at the organizational, group, team, and individual level. Over the years, I have noticed that those who stand out from the crowd excel in three key areas: - Strong Personal Branding: Quickly conveying who they are and the value add they bring. - Speaking with Impact: Effectively capturing and holding an audience's attention. - Excelling in the Media: Delivering compelling messages the right way with news and social media.

Posted on June 20, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. My dear Karen – you have really seen it all since being in Africa these past 10 days. From witnessing the joyous dancing and singing of the villagers when World Vision struck water for their first ever fresh water well, to consoling a mother who had recently lost her only daughter to deadly disease born of unclean water. Thank you so much for blogging your experiences so that we here at home can understand the horrific scope of this crisis AND how easily we can help put an end to it.

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