These women's husbands don't believe it takes so long to get water. After you hear them, will you?
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Stella Artois

Imagine if your entire day was spent waiting in line ... for water.

The women interviewed in the above video don't have to imagine. They live in the Ukambani region of Machakos, Kenya. The region has been facing hot, dry periods of weather, which means that water has become very scarce. As a result, women (the members of the family usually tasked with this responsibility) must walk miles to the nearest well for water. Sounds hard, right?


But only when you hear the women's stories does it really hit you just how *hard* it is.

Getting the water takes a painfully long time.

The reason it takes so long? Well, here's the math: 1 well + 100 people waiting at the well = a slow, tedious process that, when added to the travel time, takes up the bulk of a woman's day.

But the hardest part is the threat of violence.

Walking while female can result in very uncomfortable situations for women anywhere and no less in Machakos. While it is predominantly women who go on this journey, very young girls are also often in charge of bringing back water.

On the trek, there is always the lurking threat of wild animals — and, just as scarily, men who might try to rob or assault the women.

This is a deeply rooted problem that can be traced back to Kenya's droughts and the strong link between poverty and water scarcity. Spending so much time and risking personal safety just to meet a basic need shouldn't be a way of life for these women or any others.

And it doesn't have to be this way.

Kenya just started the first-ever African water fund. If the endeavor goes well, it will provide clean water for over 9.3 million folks. Funds like these can go along way to combat water shortage in drought-ridden parts of Kenya. Hopefully, there will be more.

Share this post to spread the word about them, their stories, and the solutions that are helping to change their reality.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

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A letter to the woman who told me to stay in my daughter's life after seeing my skin.

'I'm not a shiny unicorn. There are plenty of black men like me who love fatherhood.'

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Fathers Everywhere

This article originally appeared on 06.15.16


To a stranger I met at a coffee shop a few years ago who introduced me to what my life as a parent would be like:

My "welcome to black fatherhood moment" happened five years ago, and I remember it like it happened yesterday.

I doubt you'll remember it, though — so let me refresh your memory.

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