More than one billion people do not have access to clean drinking water- that’s more than 1 out of every 7 people on Earth. And the consequences of drinking contaminated water are no mystery- more children die from diarrheal diseases than from HIV/AIDS and malaria combined- every day 4,000 children in developing countries die from water-borne illnesses.
On January 12 the group of 45(!) made it to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro on a climb designed to raise awareness of and fight the global clean water crisis. Organized by Kenna over the course of 2009, an experimental music artist, the Summit on the Summit project partnered with Children’s Safe Drinking Water, a project of Proctor & Gamble and PUR- the program focuses on reducing sickness and death resulting from drinking contaminated water.
You can see more photos and videos from the climb on the SOTSK website.
The project has made great use of social media, gathering more than 5,500 followers to their @SOTSK account. Kenna’s promotion to his own 7,000 Facebook fans is a great example of how to document a trip in real-time on the web- and since the trip was a group of web-savvy personalities including Jessica Biel, Lupe Fiasco, Santigold and Dr. Allgood of PUR, the project and the cause have gotten a considerable amount of exposure.
The project was also sponsored by HP, who provided the eco-friendly technology that made the social media prowess of the group possible.
I appreciated the sentiment of their celebration message:
“In those days between, the 45 of us became one… Had we been climbing as individuals, several of us might not have made it this time. Our guides were shocked, telling us they’d never seen a group as large as ours pull off 100% summit success on the route we climbed. And as we stood on the summit sharing hugs and tears, we bore witness to the power of our collective will, having driven each other not just to a higher physical location but to a heightened state of mind.”
The power of the collective will- indeed, this may be the secret ingredient that is making things happen in projects like this or for 350.org but lacking still in the larger goals of efforts like the Copenhagen Summit.
You can still get involved with the project, either by sponsoring a foot or more of the group’s climb or getting involved with the Children’s Safe Drinking Water.