For us, the holidays are a reminder of the things we’re most thankful for: the people sitting at our tables, cozy homes, our jobs and the generous supporters who make our work possible. And of course, they also remind us of the people we’re serving in developing countries.
When people get access to clean water for the first time, it changes every aspect of their lives. It gives them opportunities that stretch far beyond the benefits of clean water – jobs, education, dignity, beauty and hope to name a few. Clean water gives them the very things that we find ourselves being thankful for this time of year.
This December, we’re taking time to highlight stories of unexpected impact. These are the things you give when you give clean water.
For women like Bhagyalata in India, having access to clean water right at home means being able to bathe in private. And because families must construct a toilet in order to participate in the water project, she’s able to go to the bathroom behind closed doors instead of in a field.
For her, water means dignity.
See Bhagyalata’s Story
For well mechanics in India, local water projects provide the chance to serve their community and earn an income. They travel to the most remote areas to respond when wells need repair, and they always save the day.
For hardworking crews like this one, water is also their livelihood.
See the Well Mechanics Story
The people of Sikedi village, Malawi, heard that a drilling rig was building wells in their area but couldn’t reach them because there was no road. They began working instantly, carrying sand and rocks by hand. Together, they built a road in two months and made clean water a reality for themselves. For these people, water will forever mean community.
Helen Apio used to spend most of her days walking for water. And she still never had enough. Each day she had to choose between watering her garden, washing clothes, cooking and bathing. She always put herself last. But not anymore. Now that Helen has clean water, she can take care of herself for the first time. In her words: “Now, I am beautiful.”
See Helen’s Story
Khadija lives in Bangladesh and dreams of becoming a doctor. That wasn’t always a reality. But now that she has clean water at school, Khadija and her classmates spend less time sick at home and more time focusing on studies and working towards their goals. For these kids, water has provided a better future.
See Khadija’s Story
A lot of families in Africa spend three hours a day collecting water. That’s 21 hours every week and almost 1,100 each year.
For these parents and children, clean water means getting their time back. And no matter how they choose to use it, just having the choice is the greatest gift of all.
For little girls like Caroline, having clean water eases worry. It makes her family healthier and gives them more time to earn an income. Which means more to be thankful for and less to stress about– even as a child.
For Caroline, clean water brings the freedom to dream a little bigger. Clean water means hope.
At 15 years old, Jean Bosco was living more like an adult than a kid. His day mostly entailed carrying a 5-gallon Jerry Can back and forth between a dirty pond and his home.
But that changed when his village got clean water. Now, Jean Bosco gets to live like a kid should. For him, clean water brought childhood.
See Jean Bosco’s Story