- Janet Pelz
It’s a big week for women featured on this web site.
Tuesday morning, September 11, Marla Smith will appear on the Today Show, talking about her work bringing clean drinking water and sanitation to Ethiopia, Bangladesh and other places around the globe. Her network television appearance follows a citation by SELF Magazine as a Woman Doing Good, along with fellow honorees Shakira, and Padma Lakshmi. An excerpt follows below, or read the full story by picking up the magazine on your newsstand. Read my How Does She Do It? story here, and better yet, support the work of Water 1st by making a contribution here.
The Lifesaver: Marla Smith-Nilson
by Erin Bried , SELF Magazine
Marla Smith-Nilson, a Woman Doing Good, helps communities access clean drinking water through Water 1st. "If you give people water," she says, "it transforms their lives."
During a family trip to northern Mexico when she was 12, Marla Smith-Nilson was water-skiing on a lake when she saw a local girl fill a container with lake water, strap it to her back and head off. "It seemed so wrong," Smith-Nilson says. "My life was completely different just because I was lucky enough to be born 70 miles north." Today, around a billion people lack access to clean drinking water, and Smith-Nilson, 44, a civil engineer and founder of Water 1st, is working on lowering that number by helping communities in Ethiopia, Honduras, Bangladesh and India drill wells or tap mountain springs. "I want every person to have what we take for granted: clean water," she says. "It's totally possible in my lifetime."
In addition to Marla’s recognition…
Kathleen Flenniken earned one of the six 2013 Washington Book Awards for her volume of poetry, Plume. Read her How Does She Do It? story by scrolling down the page. You can purchase her book by clicking the Amazon ad to your right.