Perhaps Congress is starting to understand that we can curtail malnutrition, prevent disease, and reduce poverty. We can support new methods of sustainable farming; promote girls' education and gender equality. But it all depends on the foundation of one thing: access to safe water and sanitation.
As former UNICEF director Carol Bellamy said, "Safe water and sanitation are essential to protect children's health and their ability to learn at school. In this sense, they are as vital as textbooks to a child's education."
In the film about Jackie Robinson's first year in the majors, Chapman shows up spitting one racial epithet after another from in front of the Phillies' dugout at Ebbets Field, a monologue of bitter bigotry that left Tudyk feeling slightly hungover after each day of filming.
In the developing world only 58 percent of births are attended by a skilled assistant, such as a midwife, nurse or doctor, according to UNFPA; in Ethiopia, a shocking 90 percent of births take place without trained assistants.
Because water is so central to many faiths, it offers both a starting point for action and a point of engagement between the faith-inspired and secular development communities. Water has a special potential.
In the time it takes you to read this post, another eight children in developing countries will have died from water-related illnesses. That, I think we can all agree, is no way to start the school year.