Susan Barnett

Susan Barnett is the founder of the nonprofit Faiths for Safe Water, an advocacy project that focuses the faith voice on global water issues.

Improving Lives as a Way of Life

I found myself in the back of a Land Rover with two civil engineers in the middle of rural Ethiopia. To say life sometimes really hits unexpectedly is an understatement. But it’s the most apt description of the lives of Mike and Gerard. At age 31, Mike Paddock was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It had spread to his bone marrow and he was given three to six months to live. “It was harder on my family than [on] me,” he told me two decades later. Finding himself quite unexpectedly in full remission, he and his wife, Cathy, plotted… Read More »Improving Lives as a Way of Life

Family planning is crucial for those in the developing world

A darling, petite young woman with a beautiful smile on the outside, Mecca’s reality is a daily onslaught of pain and shame due to a completely preventable injury of pregnancy, afflicting a million women and resulting in untold stillbirths. I was in Ethiopia with a project focused on the appalling absence of Water/Sanitation/Hygiene (WASH) in health-care facilities. It’s a global health scandal impacting hundreds of thousands of clinics and hospitals around the world. But I hadn’t anticipated meeting Mecca. Mecca has been pregnant 10 times. She has seven surviving children. She is only 30 years old. We hiked through farmlands to… Read More »Family planning is crucial for those in the developing world