The roads are bumpy and rocky in northern Uganda. There are people there who suffer due to the lack of clean, sanitary drinking water. Every day women in brightly colored skirts carry 5-gallon Jerry Cans, in each hand, to try to scrounge up any water they can find. Some balance pails on their heads. Sometimes the water they gather is dirty and putrid. Sometimes it even leads to disease and illness. Clearly there is a need here.
That is where Charity: Water comes in. They seek out areas with the greatest need to build wells and change lives. They partner with Joy Drilling to transform a need into a reality.
Worldwide, women are more than twice as likely as men to collect drinking water. The average woman in Africa walks three miles every day for water. Helen Apio is one of those women.
Before Charity: Water came to her village she said she faced many difficulties including deciding how to manage the meager amount of water she could find between her two children, her and her husband. After the well was dug, her life changed.
“I am happy now,” Helen beamed. “I have time to eat; my children can go to school. And I can even work in my garden, take a shower and then come back for more water if I want! I am bathing so well.”
“Yes,” she paused. Smiling, she said, “Now, I am beautiful.” That is an amazing thing…to feel beautiful and powerful.
With the addition of the well, Helen has been elected to be the Water Committee Treasurer. She collects a small amount from each of the 51 families for the maintenance of their well. It is one of the first times a woman has been elected to a leadership position in the village.
A representative of Charity: Water said, “My job is to focus on sustainable development, health, hygiene and sanitation; to make sure charity: water’s projects are working in 20 years. But nowhere on any of my surveys or evaluations was a place to write, ‘Today we made someone feel beautiful.’”