By Yadesa Bojia
Through the work that Marcus is doing with UNICEF, children all over the world are gaining unprecedented access to clean drinking water.Â Living in a country like the USA, where we are blessed with access to most of life's major necessities, we tend to forget about a lack of simple necessities like water, shelter and food. The lack of those necessities keep a lot of parents sleepless around the world, send little children to theÂ grave too early, and cause unnecessary conflict which makes life too unbearable to the weak and defenseless among them.
As an Ethiopian American, I always face the same story when I go back to visit my beloved country. I remember visiting a small village in Western Shoa, Asgori.Â I witnessed what Marcus had mentioned about the amount of time it take the girls to collect water from the nearest river.Â In my quest to know more, I visited a small cottage and I found out one of the most valuable thing they have was their "ensera," or "water pot". I asked the father why they consider their water pot a life line and he told me since it takes hours to get to the river to collect water, it is simply their life line until the next day.
Besides the lack of clean tap water which is not infested with waterborne diseases, what makes this scenario ever more unbearable is the way the water is collected and how long it take the village women's to carry the water back to their village. He told me his wife, and their neighbors will walk an hour to get to the river and carry the pot in their back and sometimes in their head back to the village. That is why Marcus' involvement with UNICEF to bring attention to this problem is priceless, and needs to be continued until at least a village gets communal tap water.
When I returned back to Seattle, I wanted to share my experience with everyone here. As an artist I used my canvas to share the plight of my people. The painful story I heard and saw, so at least I can do my part.
I just finished and art show in Northwest African American Museum entitled "Life Line."
This painting was inspired by my trip. I hope in a simple way, I convinced some people to pay attention and work with people like you who truly are in the forefront to eradicate waterborne diseases and provide clean water.