In 2010, World Vision magazine published a story about Kathy Williams, a manager at Family Christian store in Killeen, Texas. Through a bottle of dirty water, she struck up conversations with customers -- conversations that resulted in hundreds of child sponsorships.
Because of Kathy's voice of change in her community, she was invited to visit World Vision projects in Swaziland with Austin, Texas area pastors and community leaders. After witnessing World Vision's work in Swaziland, she wrote the following reflection.
Just give them water.
For the people of Austin, getting water is as easy as turning on the tap or going to the local store to buy a bottle of water. For the people of Maseyisini, in Swaziland, getting water is not so simple.
Yesterday I spent the day with a family with nine children, whose daily chore is to collect water for the family. They gather various containers and walk at least a quarter of a mile through fields and rocky land to get to a cistern (watering hole).
There, they carefully skim the top of the water so they don't get any dirt or debris in with the precious water. They can only fill about a five-gallon bucket before they reach the dirtier part of the water. It's a tedious process done by children ages 2 to 13 at least twice a day.
They then have to walk back another quarter of a mile carrying this water, resting when they can because it's so heavy. This process only produces enough water for the day, if they can get to the water source soon enough. If not, they could lose the water to other families or animals.
If that happens, then they are forced to walk to a second site even further away to try and collect water. They encounter various dangers such as extreme weather or being harassed by older males.
Sitting half way across the world in Austin, this seems like an impossible situation to imagine. How can we help? It’s hard to believe, but as little as the cost of a cup of coffee could make a child a hero because, through his or her sponsorship, water can be brought to the community.
Are you willing to put down a cup of coffee to save a child?
Learn more about child sponsorship. Through sponsorship you help not just a child, but his or her entire community.