How Bechibila is turning dirty water into drinking water with a powder packet.
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P&G

Growing up, Bechibila was worried about how she could help others.

She knew she wanted to make a difference; she just didn't know how. And that's OK. It takes time to figure out your calling.

All images via P&G.


But in time, she realized what she was meant to do: help tackle the urgent clean water problem plaguing her community.

Their only sources of drinking water are nearby rivers, which are always dirty. When they drink it, they get sick. But, it's also their only option, so the problem seemed insurmountable.

Still, Bechibila was ready to tackle it head on.

"No matter what situation you find yourself in," she says. "You can always turn things around."

See how she's doing just that in the video below:

Thanks to this little packet and her commitment to the community, she's showing her neighbors how to turn dirty river water into the clean drinking water they need.

Posted by Upworthy on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Yes, turning dirty water into drinking water with powder is real.

And it's the main reason why Bechibila travels from community to community, helping educate as many people as she can about the life-changing benefits of this innovation.

Just imagine how many lives can be saved by making one of the developing world's scarcest resources much more accessible.

You just pour the powder into your water.

Give it a little mix.

And then watch as all the dirt settles to the bottom.

From there, all anyone has to do is filter the purified water through cloth, wait 20 minutes, and voilà — fresh, drinkable water.

Sadly, many communities without clean water still exist all around the world.

In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 319 million people still don't have access to a reliable water source. And drinking dirty water can lead to serious diseases, such as cholera, Guinea worm disease, and typhoid fever. On top of that, 42% of health care facilities in Africa don't have access to clean water. It's a vicious cycle that needs to be put to an end.

Luckily, more and more people like Bechibila are fighting to change that.

P&G works with organizations and clean water advocates around the world, and together they've provided 11 billion liters of clean water to families who need it. Billions more are still needed to help everyone affected by clean water shortages, but with innovations like P&G's Purifier of Water packets leading the way, we could see significant change sooner rather than later.

And no matter the obstacle, nothing will stop crusaders like Bechibila from moving forward and making a lasting impact.

The journey toward progress is never easy. There will always be challenges in our way. And there's no denying that the task is daunting. Still, little by little, step by step, we'll get to where we need to go.

When faced with adversity, Bechibila simply reminds herself, "I can still go around and help others by educating them about clean water."

"I will travel as far as my bicycle will take me."

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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We know that mammals feed their young with milk from their own bodies, and we know that whales are mammals. But the logistics of how some whales make breastfeeding happen has been a bit of a mystery for scientists. Such has been the case with sperm whales.

Sperm whales are uniquely shaped, with humongous, block-shaped heads that house the largest brains in the animal world. Like other cetaceans, sperm whale babies rely on their mother's milk for sustenance in their first year or two. And also like other cetaceans, a sperm whale mama's nipple is inverted—it doesn't stick out from her body like many mammals, but rather is hidden inside a mammary slit.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less