In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution affirming that everyone has the right to clean drinking water and proper sanitation. Yet, as the World Health Organization reports, unsafe water causes 4 billion cases of diarrhea each year, and results in 2.2 million deaths, a stark statistic primarily comprised of children under the age of five. This means that 15% of child deaths each year are attributable to diarrhea-- a a child dying every 15 seconds. In India, the single largest cause of ill health and death of children is diarrhea, killing nearly half a million children each year (WHO & UNICEF 2000, 2010). Not only is a lack of access to clean water a clear infringement on a fundamental human right, it is also a threat to global peace; a recent UNESCO study made critical links between access to water and conflicts at the community, regional and international levels (2006).
To address this important and pressing issue, this project explores the challenges that marginalized communities in the global south face to access water-- a fundamental yet commonly denied basic human right. In the spring of 2011, PSP Executive Director Rebecca Sweetman travelled to India and Indonesia-- two of UNESCO and UNICEF's identified risk areas-- to document the innovative solutions happening with 16 local NGOs. This comparative perspective-- a PSP first!-- offers a cross-cultural and cross-continental look at the issue of water access and its related grassroots movements.
This film premiered at the National Film Board at PSP's big screen debut on April 24th, 2012. An accompanying curricula guide will soon be available for educators, with activities for students in Gr. 1 through to post-secondary. Visit theparadigmshiftproject.org to join our newsletter, and receive updates about PSP's forthcoming curricula!
In accordance with our mission, this film will also be given to participating NGOs for them to use as an educational fundraising and campaigning tool. To learn more about these and other organizations working with PSP, visit theparadigmshiftproject.org and check out our Grassroots Community page.