The world’s leading killer is not a terrorist organization, government, cigarettes, or even guns. The world’s leading cause of death is far more subtle and far more widespread: waterborne disease. The World Health Organization has found that more than 3.4 million people die every year at the hands of silent killers found in the cups of water in most Third World communities. One child dies every 90 seconds from an easily preventable water borne disease. It is hard to comprehend how this can still be happening alongside the strides mankind has made over the past century.
It’s the simple things that we often overlook in our society, and understandably so. It becomes a normal and expected reality that, with the push of a lever, the waste we produce can seemingly vanish from existence. Sanitation infrastructure is a norm for communities found in the Western sphere, but is a reality only known to a fraction of the world. In fact, 2.5 billion people do not have access to a toilet. Without sanitation, people are forced to defecate into the same streams in which they bathe, wash their clothes, and drink from every day.
This is unacceptable. Access to adequate sanitation options and clean water is a basic human right and every person should have access to it. No mother should ever be forced to choose between losing a child to dehydration or to contaminated water.
Founded in a GW Classroom over a year ago, Asepsis is a non-profit collaborative that embodies this belief. We have come a long way: we have received a D-Prize grant, been a finalist in the Clinton Global Initiative’s Resolution project, and placed third in the GW Business plan competition along with the Best International Venture Prize. With so many organizations expressing faith in our ability to make a difference, we are carrying great momentum into 2016.
NYU students, this is where we need your help. Asepsis is aiming to expand its student-fueled advocacy campaign across the country, with plans on creating branches centered in major universities and their surrounding communities. We are currently looking for a driven and passionate student to lead efforts, alongside our team based in Washington, to establish the New York branch of Asepsis. If interested, we ask that you email your resume and a cover letter to email@example.com. The New York Campaign Coordinator will be responsible for forming a team, which will be responsible for brainstorming ideas and implementing projects alongside our partners in the WASH community to advocate and raise money for projects on the behalf of the 2.5 billion who lack adequate sanitation.
Many grassroots movements that have led to lasting change in the world have originated out of university communities across the United States. We hope that the NYU community shares in our view that this is one of those opportunities to create a permanent and positive change in the world.
Image used with permission, courtesy of Asepsis.