Not so long ago, William Aludo, EC’s Program Coordinator in Kenya, sent me photos of students from Miruya Primary School. This is the school where EC recently built a new classroom. The children were collecting water from a muddy river William called the “seasonal” Kaboro River.
The next batch of photos featured children walking along a dusty road with large jerry cans on their heads. These cans were filled with the water they had just collected.
From a cultural standpoint, it isn’t so strange to see children carrying or collecting water in Kenya. Water is necessary to live, and most if not all of these children live in homes where there is no running water. The responsibility of collecting water is often left to children. But to our North American eyes, the sight of a young child scooping muddy water from a shallow river gives us pause.
Waterborne diseases are the number one leading cause of death in Kenyan children under the age of five. Among the more popular solutions to the problem of unsafe drinking water are water filtration systems, rain harvesting systems, and borehole drilling.
Providing Clean Water
Everyone’s Child is committed to providing potable water at schools where we support students. In 2014, EC partnered with Christian Broadcasting Network to install a rain harvesting system at the Lord Ranjuera Primary School in Kampi Ya Moto, Kenya. Before the system was in place, children were getting water from a muddy river that was a two-mile walk from their village. The mortality rate in that area was also extremely high among young children.
Today the red dust that dominated the area around this primary school has been replaced by a garden, and joy can be seen on the faces of all the children.
How You Can Help
Explorations into the provision of clean water at the Miruya Primary School have begun. In the coming months we will be launching a campaign to raise funds for this effort. If you would like to add your support, please click here to make a secure donation. Our goal is to ensure that the children and staff at the Miruya Primary School will have clean drinking water by this time next year. Stay tuned for more updates on this project!
This past June I wrote about a donation that came from a relative of mine who was checking things off a bucket list. The item was “I was thirsty, and ye gave me to drink”. Without even knowing it, this relative was quenching the thirst of many children.
A Board Decision
At about the same time, the EC Board of Directors had decided to provide a hand pump to a ministry serving children in Orissa, which is in northern India. This ministry has been faced with tremendous persecution, making it very difficult to support these children. They had asked us for help with a hand pump, nutritional care and educational supplies, so our first effort was to provide them with a hand pump and repair their bore well. Our hope was that the pump and repaired well would prevent the sickness and disease they have all been dealing with from drinking dirty river water.
Checking things off our list
My relative’s bucket list inspired others to give, and as a result, I am overwhelmingly excited to report that this item can now be checked off our list too. In mid-June the funds were sent to India, and a month later I received an email and a video from India, showing that the water pump is now in place. The video is below, followed by the portions of the email:
“Hallelujah thank you Lord Jesus Christ for this water facilities to these children and families. Lord we bless Everyone’s Child for bringing blessings to these vulnerable children we serve in Orissa.”
“When the water gushed out of the pump … we saw joyful tears in the eyes of the children and families. Truly the Lord is great. See the children how they are very very happy and grateful to you and to the Lord. They prayed. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for this wonderful water facilities you provided to bless these children and families. These children were thirsty and starving and were suffering without water but you met the needs thank you Lord for giving us provisions to serve these tribal children in Orissa. Amen.”
Connecting others to the need
I recently visited the bank where funds for the water pump were transferred to India. The teller who had helped with the transaction was there, so I had an opportunity to share the video and texts with him. He was visibly moved, and then asked me if I would be able to share the video and text with him.
His reason was simple. His children recently had friends over for the evening, and when all the soda pop, bottled water and juice was gone, they found that their only option for quenching their thirst was to drink water from the tap. “I want to show them this,” he said, “because I told them that there was plenty of good drinking water right there at the sink. I said that the local Water Authority had deemed it safe to drink, but they still couldn’t bring themselves to drink it. They need to see what other people deal with when it comes to having clean drinking water.”
Quenching the thirst
Looking back, it seems that many of my blogs have been about water. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Water is one of the most needed elements in our world – for people, plants, animals – in fact, for all living things. And yet, potable water makes up a very small fraction of all the water on the earth. According to National Geographic*, “While nearly 70 percent of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh. The rest is saline and ocean-based. Even then, just 1 percent of our freshwater is easily accessible, with much of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields.”
We all have thirst. Quenching that thirst is a driving force in life. For so many of us, having potable water is a non-issue. However, for every one for whom it is a non-issue, there are at least three who struggle with access to clean drinking water. The numbers are overwhelming. 844 million people on the earth today lack sanitary water**.
Everyone’s Child is committed to providing clean drinking water for any of the schools we help to build. Beyond that, we will do all we can to make clean water available to children in developing nations.
I am grateful for the privilege of partnering with so many of you to take care of this and many other needs in our world, especially when children are involved.
Please click here if you would like to support our programs in Kenya and India. Your tax-deductible gift will help with educating, feeding and quenching the thirst of children we serve in these countries.
As always, thank you and bless you for seeing, understanding and responding to the need. I pray that your hearts and buckets will be full to overflowing time and time again.