An Update From charity: water

From Zimbabwe, with Love

Everywhere we look, love is on full display

by Mercy Weaver

What do you love?

(I’ll give you a second to think about it.)

Now, a follow-up question: Did your job make the list?

After friends, family, pets, hobbies, mountains and oceans, good food, great books, and hot tea, it’s understandable if your 9-5 didn’t quite make the cut. For some, a job is just a job, and a paycheck is just a paycheck. (There’s no shame in that.)

But the resilience of our partners in the field tells a radically different story. And — spoiler alert — it’s a love story for the ages.

Ennos: WASH Field Officer, Technical

Enos is the proud father of four daughters. With his busy travel schedule throughout rural Zimbabwe, he only gets to see his family every two weeks. In the interim, he sends his love through WhatsApp.

Often, his team will sleep overnight in the communities they serve — far from luxurious accommodations. But the long nights (and even longer days) are always worth it.

“We are always on the road. From the title of my position, we are always in the field. We are always in the community. Of course, I miss my family. But … I also want to bring communities happiness. My love for people is why I do this work.”

Alficha: WASH Field Officer, Mt. Darwin

“There’s this thing about helping people that I love. I would rate a good day’s work as when I go out and come back and I’ve done something that’s really changed someone’s life. With water, you can see how happy people become when you repair a water point or bring water for the first time. You can even become emotional, seeing how happy people become.”

SQ: WASH Team Leader, Mt. Darwin

SQ has two daughters. Her work often carries her more than 300 miles (500km) away from home. So, she only gets to see her family every now and then. But her passion for serving others helps her overcome homesickness.

“I have passion. I like this job. I like working with communities. I like seeing the change: seeing the lives of the communities changing, seeing access to clean water.”

Tamuka: WHH Field Manager, Mt. Darwin

For Tamuka, the work is deeply personal. He grew up in a rural community without safe water or toilets. Every time he leads a team into the field, he’s motivated by an empathy wrought from his own childhood experiences.

“I know what these families are going through. I grew up in the same difficult conditions.

The passion keeps me going. If you have the passion to work with communities and to try to improve communities’ lives through clean water and sanitation, that will drive you to want to do more.

The most important thing is that we have the funding. Our teams are so dedicated. They are so professional. They are so target-oriented. As long as we have the funds, we can get the work done.

The diversity of the communities we serve is worth celebrating. From Zimbabwe, to Nepal, to Niger, to Ethiopia, and back again, no two stories are ever the same. Reliable access to clean water changes lives dramatically, but differently.

Still, love is the common thread in every story we tell. Love links our supporters, local partners, and rural communities in an unbroken chain: grounding our work and guiding our vision.

Love allows our local partners to be relentlessly dedicated to reaching the most challenging-to-access communities — even at the expense of their own comfort.

It motivates them to find innovative ways to bring water while simultaneously stewarding the natural ecology of rural communities.

It inspires children in Wyoming to raise money for clean water each year, cultivating a global mindset and generous hearts.

Love empowers moms (like Khloeum and Honorine) to sacrifice for their children’s well-being, working toward a more prosperous future than they ever could’ve imagined for themselves.

Love gave our teammates at REST in Tigray, Ethiopia the courage to serve the vulnerable, even in the midst of a warzone.

It’s easy to feel burdened by bad news or hostility on your social media feed. But despite the odds, the world is overflowing with love. Self-sacrificing, enduring, joyful, at-times-messy love.

The kind that turns strangers into friends into family. The kind that’s almost reckless in its self-abandonment for the greater good. The kind that changes everything it touches for the better.

We see love everywhere we go. And we’re continually stunned by how intensely it shows up in the work of our local partners.

Love as formidable, essential, and life-transforming as, well, water.

Thank you for walking alongside us in our journey to love the world well by providing sustainable access to clean water. We’re deeply grateful for you.

If you’d like to test Tamuka’s promise, “As long we have the funds, we can get the work done,” you can donate online today. For just $40, you can equip our local partners to bring clean water to one person.

Give Clean Water Now

Photos By: Cubby Graham