Clean Water Brings Hope for Children Living in the Toughest Places
By Emily Pyatt
You turn on the kitchen sink to fill a cup of water after spending time outside. You enjoy pasta for dinner, boiling the noodles in water. You take a bath or enjoy swimming in the pool on a hot summer day.
Water is essential for most every aspect of life. Yet shortages of safe, clean water and lack of sanitation and hygiene programs create the most significant source of suffering on earth. For millions of children and families around the world, finding clean water for drinking, cooking, and hygiene is a daily challenge.
That is why Unto® works with local staff teams serving in the toughest places to help drill, repair, and maintain deep water wells. We also help strengthen communities by providing access to safe, clean water through water filters and training in proper hand washing — reducing the risk of waterborne illnesses and other diseases.
As people’s physical needs are met, local staff members also share about the hope of Jesus at the right time. They often have the opportunity to establish new churches that become a source of help and hope in the community.
A Repaired Well for School Girls
Imagine not being able to attend school — not because you are sick, but because you must walk miles each day to fetch water for your family. This is the reality many children around the world face.
The responsibility often falls to women and young girls who collectively, around the world, spend 200 million hours each day gathering water. In 80 percent of households without running water, young girls must carry heavy buckets of water dangerously long distances.
In one East African village, young girls were unable to attend school because they spent their days waiting in line to collect water from the broken well nearby. It was their only option. But the well dripped so slowly that the line would often grow to 150 girls waiting their turn to collect just a little water.
Many families had to stop using clean water for bathing and washing their clothes. Instead they saved every last drop from the well for drinking and cooking, while they used dirty water from shallow, contaminated sources for everything else.
Unto team members trained local residents to repair the well in their village, and everything changed. Girls no longer needed to miss school to wait in line for water, and families could bathe and wash their clothes in clean water again.
Local team members are building relationships with people in the community so they can share about Jesus and continue to meet the physical and spiritual needs of children and their families.
For young girls in the toughest places, access to safe, clean water relieves their suffering. It restores their dignity by allowing them to receive an education and build a brighter future. And it gives them the opportunity to learn about the eternal hope of Jesus.
A Water Filter for Gogo and Her Grandchildren
More than 850 million people around the world do not have access to safe, clean water. Tragically nearly 1,000 children die every day because of preventable waterborne illnesses.
When the worst tropical cyclone on record to affect the Southern Hemisphere hit Zimbabwe, over 270,000 people were left suffering in its wake. Families were hungry and thirsty. Water sources, already contaminated, were further polluted by the storm. And waterborne illnesses quickly began to rise.
Our local staff team worked with government sanitation employees and social welfare officers to determine where water filters were most needed. Together they distributed filters and buckets to people in those communities. Our team members also distributed food and clothes.
Gogo Muzondiwa was blessed by the water filters. She lost part of her house in the cyclone, and her bathroom was completely ruined. But thankfully her three grandchildren — who live with her — were spared from injury. She received a water filter and was taught how to use it. Knowing she had a dependable water source was very liberating to her. She was so thankful for the water filter and went on to help others prepare their own filters and buckets for use.
Along with the distributions people heard about the eternal hope of Jesus. One local pastor shared that the church congregation size in Gogo’s village has increased since the flooding. He was grateful for how the filters have made a difference in the lives of people in his community.
Water gives — and preserves — life. For people like Gogo living in disaster areas, water filters and buckets help provide safe, clean water when there are no other options available. And as a result they also learn about the kindness of Jesus and the living water He gives.
You Can Make a Difference
Water impacts nearly every part of daily life. When you help give people access to safe, clean water, you also help transform the lives of families in the toughest places.
Your support provides more than just safe, clean water for families. You also:
- Relieve their suffering — Clean water prevents deadly diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and dysentery and supports healthy growth and development.
- Restore their dignity — A nearby well protects women and children from walking for miles in search of water and hauling an average of 40 pounds of water every day. Children can attend school. Mothers can care for their families.
- Reveal hope — Every time a new well is drilled, our staff teams build relationships and share the eternal hope of Jesus. New churches are often established too.
You can help by providing safe, clean water to people in the toughest places on earth. Your gift will help meet the physical need of families in the toughest places and provide opportunities for them to hear about the eternal hope of Jesus.
Teach children how to share help and hope!
Our Humanitarian Quest is a FREE interactive series designed to help you talk with children about the suffering so many people around the world experience and how they can make a significant impact.
Discover real-life stories from people in the toughest places, study the Bible together, and take a walk in someone’s shoes as you explore activities and crafts that illustrate what life is like for people in need. Throughout the activity you will find discussion questions to help children process what they are learning and plan out practical ways they can care for people around the world.
Published July 31, 2021
Emily is on staff with Cru® serving as a Communication Specialist at Unto®. She holds a B.S. in Rhetoric and Public Communication from Northern Illinois University.