“It is the obvious first step to release people from dire poverty. Clean water must come first.” – Doug Pitt
Human rights is about equal water flow, equal food distribution, equal access to knowledge and technology and medicine. It is about having spirit to allow these things to happen freely, fairly, humanely and with equality in our hearts to give willingly to our brothers and sisters of the world–Horiwood 2010′s.
I notice today that Doug Pitt’s Africa 6000 International charity’s website is on the blink. Doug Pitt.Org isn’t any more helpful, so perhaps the brother needs some attention today from Hollywood.
REWIND – 2009 PRESS. Celebitchy reported – “When Doug Pitt’s name came up as a Republican nominee candidate for the Missouri State, Brad Pitt apparently convinced his little brother not to run. This is according to the National Enquirer - they claim Brad has “big plans” for the work he and Doug will be doing together, and they wouldn‘t be able to do their work if Doug ran for Congress. Just in the last six months, Doug and Brad (and Angelina Jolie, through the Jolie-Pitt Foundation) have given away more than $2.5 million to Missouri-based charities and causes. There was the just before Christmas last year; then the $600,000 to Drury University for environmental technology (in the name of their father); and just a couple of weeks ago there was the $1 million donation to a pediatric cancer ward in honor of Jane Pitt. It seems Brad has successfully convinced Doug that there are better ways to help people rather than running for Congress.”
In April 2010, Just Jared website reported, “Doug Pitt is honored for his humanitarian work and named Goodwill Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania by President Jakaya Kikwete at NYC’s Essex House on Monday (April 19). His older brother, actor Brad Pitt, was supposed to attend the tribute dinner but he was grounded due to the volcanic ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Doug’s wife Lisa Pitt was in attendance. FYI: Doug is a professional photojournalist. His charity helps supply fresh water in Africa.”
In a photojournalistic essay, Doug wrote an article called The Water Project. It went something like this: “The Maasai live in northern Tanzania and Kenya and since the 17th or 18th century have made their livelihood as pastoralists—that is, with livestock free to graze this flat, big-sky landscape. During the past 40 years, the Maasai have been making a transition to cultivated agriculture. There are a lot of reasons for this, partly because private and government interests have taken over Maasai land, sometimes in the name of environmental conservation, sometimes for tourism. Less room for Maasai livestock to graze, and difficulty joining the money economy, are just two economic problems that fuel the villages’ lack of clean water.
Pitt says two out of five children in the Maasai community he visited with WorldServe don’t live to the age of five. There were a lot of aspects of Maasai life that were shocking, he says, including the fact of life that kids die from highly preventable diseases. “But at the same time, it’s like, ‘Back off, Western guy, we like where we’re at,’” Pitt explains.
“Doug has such a gift for connecting with people,” says John Bongiorno, president of WorldServe International, the Christian NGO that digs wells in rural Africa. That includes spear-wielding tribesmen. Pitt recalls entering a Maasai village during a clan meeting, when outsiders aren’t permitted. Men jabbed sticks and spears at Pitt and Springfield developer Matt Miller, who was also on the trip. “Our guide says, ‘Put away your camera,’” Pitt explains. “Those spears were kinda convincing.” Afterward, the tense situation was smoothed over and the village chief invited Pitt into the community—but no cameras could be used during the clan meeting.
Doug has travelled on a humanitarian trip to Tanzania with WorldServe International, a faith-based non-governmental organization that aims to bring clean, safe water to the Maasai people. When rural Africans don’t have clean water, the brunt of the impact lands squarely on women like this one. Maasai women and children are responsible for walking hours each way to carry water from a safe source back home. Mere subsistence occupies all their time, with little room for education. When WorldServe is able to provide a $10,000 well to a village, women and children have more time—and hope—for the future.
Pitt says he was struck by the sweetness of the people he met in Tanzania. In a culture where so many people die that Saturday is set aside as “burial day,” Sunday is “grieving day” and on Monday life just “goes on,” Pitt felt shocked by how people related in ordinary life. “They were so endearing to each other.,” he recalls. “Kids went arm in arm, hand in hand.”
Doug Pitt’s capacity for capturing the human face in photography is remarkable, and that aspect of his work has also made the cover of Today’s Pentecostal Evangel, an Assemblies of God weekly distributed worldwide. In Springfield, this image, as well as the other photographs in this essay, appeared at a February exhibition at Randy Bacon Photography, and will soon tour other U.S. locations. Shannon Bacon, who curates exhibitions at RBP, says this photograph was her favorite. “God has created a masterpiece with this woman,” Bacon says. Artist Brad Noble and his wife, Tina, purchased a copy of this image. Bacon says 32 photographs were sold at the opening reception of “The Water Project;” Bongiorno says this exhibit has raised enough money to dig a new well in Tanzania.”
Alright as Doug’s websites are on the blink, or World Vision.Org or WorldServe International or are all helping water the earth too. Click on their links if you want to make a difference to the 1 in 6 of US in the world – who die young because we don’t have access to clean drinking water. And… go Doug Pitt and Africa 6000 International. In addition, an energy drink supporter of Water Fundraising hikers is reGen™ Muscle Recovery.
[Pics of the Pitt brothers via MSN. Artwork of dove by artist Holly V. Hoof]
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 2.11.11~
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