This month the Images of Interest have been exploring better ways for people around the world to gain better access to clean, safe water–defined by the UN as a basic human right, but out of reach for millions, if not billions (different sources cite different numbers) of people all over the world.
Some people in “undeveloped” parts of the world may spend up to a quarter of their lives hauling water.
Enter the Hippo Water Roller. This reimagined child of a water barrel and a wheelbarrow holds about five times as much as the average bucket, and was designed by two South Africans who grew up in rural areas, Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker.
They’ve been making them since 1991. As of mid-2016, some 50,000 of them had been distributed to more than 20 countries, and countless lives have been improved.
The other day I came upon what I think is a wonderful story from the Denver, Colorado area. I’ve shared stories about a variety of service dogs on this blog, but this is the first “facility dog” I’ve encountered.
This is one way that Pella helps comfort child witnesses, out of sight of the jury.
This program in Colorado was born of the persistent vision and efforts of criminal investigator Amber Urban, who got the idea from the Courthouse Dogs program in Seattle, WA. Over time, the Arapahoe County Courthouse has become one of several courthouses and child-services facilties where Pella and others like her are now accepted.
Pella helps children feel more empowered during what can be an extremely stressful interview or turn on the witness stand. The interviewers make a point of letting the child decide if Pella should be there or not (giving him or her a bit of control, in what is almost guaranteed to be a frightening, out-of-control experience).
Especially if they’re different in a lot of ways. Maybe they don’t look too much alike. Maybe they come from different backgrounds, different cultures, different belief systems. Or speak different languages.
Does that mean they’re doomed to hate each other?
We humans get crosswise with each other, too. But heck, we aren’t even different species.