Turning 20 + My birthday wish

I'm turning 20 in a few weeks! I can't believe I've made it this far. Embarking on this journey has been one hell of a ride, and I'm ever so grateful to the people I've met, the friends I've met. This has been truly life-changing, I've learnt to cherish those who cherish me, and never to take them for granted. I truly love the support within the community I can draw emotional strength from in times of need. I'm so happy that I have people that I can share my ups and downs with, people I can seek advice from, and they are all very caring and loving individuals embarking on the same journey as me. 

The most addicting aspect of this is the independence and freedom that it brings about. I've never felt more free to pursue the things I want to do and being able to contribute more towards the causes I believe in. I'm so free to challenge the norms that society has set, so free to challenge what a woman "should" behave like. I have found clients who truly cherish and adore me for being me. I don't feel pressurised to be someone else when I am with them because I can truly be myself, and that is also pretty damn liberating.

And now..... 

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.
— Oscar Wilde

This year, for my 20th birthday, I've embarked on something rather different. Instead of asking for gifts, I have created a charity:water campaign. I support charity:water not only because I share their belief in wanting to bring clean and safe drinking water to everyone in the world, but also because they also pride themselves on being very transparent about the money that they receive and where it is channeled to. They provide GPS coordinates as well as a little write-up proving that your donation has been used for your various projects. You can also view all their financials on their site as well. 

My support for this organisation stems from the fact that having proper access to clean and safe water is a basic human right! 2 benefits(out of many) close to my heart is the prevention of water-borne diseases, as well as the empowerment of women in these communities.

Diseases from dirty water kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. 43% of those deaths are children under five years old. Access to clean water and basic sanitation can save around 16,000 lives every week. (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs391/en/) 

There are so many diseases that can be prevented when facilities that help others access clean water. Please read this one-page website that lists out the statistics related to disease and death due to the lack of clean and safe water if you're interested to know more. 

Clean water(or the lack thereof) is indeed a women’s issue in these developing communities. I firmly believe in doing everything I possibly can when it comes to empowering women across the world so that we can gradually work towards equality for both sexes. Having proper toilets and clean water means: 

  1. Women do not have to miss out on educational and income-generating opportunities because they no longer have to take up the time-consuming role of collecting water from locations far away from home. (http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Resources/Static/Products/Progress2012/English2012.pdf)
  2. Women will have reduced vulnerability to threats and rape since they no longer have to walk far away from their home to remote locations just to collect water for their family members. (http://www.fmreview.org/sites/fmr/files/FMRdownloads/en/FMRpdfs/FMR19/FMR1913.pdf)
  3. Menstruating females no longer have to miss out on lessons for a whole week every month because they are able to clean up and dispose of used sanitary products in proper toilets instead of having to walk home to do that. (http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/05/menstrual-hygiene-gaps-continue-to-keep-girls-from-school/)

It would be highly appreciated if you donated some money to my campaign -- anything you can give is highly appreciated. Your money will go a very long way in making this world a better place to live in for many people in this world who do not have one of the many privileges that we take for granted in the developed world. 

100% of the money will be used to build clean water projects, and when they’re complete, charity: water will send us photos and GPS coordinates so we can see the exact community we helped. Every dollar counts. Every $1 invested in clean water can yield $4–$12 in economic returns.(http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/economic/mdg10_offtrack.pdf?ua=1)

This campaign expires 31 December 2016, so I really really hope to achieve my goal of raising $1000USD by then. This amount will help about 33 people get access to clean water, and the number of beneficiaries goes up when you donate more, and hopefully exceed the initial $1000 USD goal! I've already donated $50 USD of my own to kickstart this campaign.

For discretion purposes, there is an option to list your name as "Anonymous" when you make a donation. 

 This world may be a difficult place to live in for some, but I think we can(and should) take active steps to make it a little better for them if we can afford to. ♡