Tag Archives: clean water

My walk with World Vision to give water to the thirsty: Part 1

Today's post -- the first of a two-part series -- comes to us from Dr. Greg Allgood, founder and director of the Children’s Safe Drinking Water program at Procter & Gamble.

The global water crisis is a silent killer that takes the lives of more children every year than HIV and malaria combined. More than 2,000 children die every day because of unclean water, poor hygiene, and lack of sanitation. But there is great hope. This is a crisis that we know how to address.

Water program brings a refreshing change for Nalika

A few years ago, water at home was just a dream for the people of the 23rd Colony in Thanamalwila, Sri Lanka. Three tube wells provided drinking water for the entire village. Nalika, 18, and her family had to walk three kilometers to collect water from the lake. Nalika hardly had time to study and was always tired.

Only a child, but already a man

More than 10,000 Cambodians cross the border into Thailand every day to earn a living. Among the throng of workers and peddlers are children like Horm, who gathers recyclable trash and sells his gleanings at Rong Kluea market.

He is only 10, but he already works like a man. Between his rounds, he drops by a World Vision learning center to play. It is at this center where he experiences just a few moments of being a child.

How a water well helps open the door to education

We know that access to clean water can help improve the overall health of an entire community.

But how does it help children -- particularly girls -- to stay in school and receive an education? Read what happened in the village of Ganjure Chicho, Ethiopia, to find out.

Handwashing: The greatest medical invention of all time

Today, believe it or not, is Global Handwashing Day.

I appreciate there are a ton of these kinds of days, and it’s sometimes tough to get excited about them all. So far this month we’ve had World Habitat Day, International Day of Older Persons, International Day of Non-Violence, World Teachers Day, World Post Day, World Mental Health Day, International Day of the Girl Child, World Sight Day, International Day for Disaster Reduction, and International Day of Rural Women.

Phew! What a list -- and we're only halfway through the month. One would have to be a saint to get passionate about them all.

On the other hand, commemorative days can focus attention on what might easily be a vital yet neglected topic. Handwashing happens to be one such issue.

Shining example: The shoeshine stand that delivers clean water

Leon McLaughlin’s story might make a script for a feel-good kids’ movie.

The plot goes like this: A humble shoeshine man operates from a stand in an important city building. As he shines the shoes of top city officials and business people, he shares his passion for bringing clean water to children around the world.

Uganda: Visible progress for children

Uganda is one of 16 poor countries that are considered "trailblazers" for the progress they’ve made toward eliminating poverty and improving health. The nation is on track to meet at least half of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Progress is hard-won, but encouraging. Here are some accomplishments to celebrate.

Mauritania: Making the Triangle of Poverty a Triangle of Hope

Traveling across West Africa, World Vision communications manager Jonathan Bundu is collecting stories of women and children impacted by the current drought and food crisis. Below are reflections from his time in Mauritania, in a region called the Triangle of Poverty.

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Clean water is life: Improvements to wells in Zambia

Samuel Mwinda Mwanangombe is World Vision’s design, monitoring, and evaluation officer for the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) program in Zambia. Samuel has worked for World Vision for three years, motivated by the opportunity to improve the quality of life for vulnerable and marginalized people -- especially orphans, widows, and those with disabilities -- by helping them realize their own potential to be agents of change.

He is dedicated to WASH because he’s seen firsthand the changes it has produced in communities and the lives of children. Samuel has seen God work through the WASH sector in Zambia, providing those in need with clean water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education to sustain their lives. Here, Samuel shares an example of that success, which he witnessed in a community where he works.

Dirty water for now -- but clean water is in the works

Water: It’s such a simple thing, but if you don’t have enough, it takes over your life.

That’s what 13-year-old Zinhle Dlamini told me. Getting water for her family in rural Swaziland is a two-hour-per-day chore. And the dirty water they get is not nearly enough for all the drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing for a household of 10 people.

Q&A with our clean water expert in Uganda

Leading up to World Water Day on March 22, we're going to do a series of posts about our work in the area of water and sanitation, giving you some ideas of how to get involved.

Back in November, I got to see some of our clean water programs in northern Uganda, a place that is still scarred by decades of brutal civil war with Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). I never knew how complex the solution to the problem of clean water could be -- but I got to learn from some experts and ask a lot of questions.

One of the most informative conversations I had was with John Steifel, World Vision's Uganda water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) program coordinator. His explanations were so good, I thought I'd share them with you.

Why water makes the difference: A tale of two towns

What does clean water mean to you? How often do you think about it? In her fourth blog entry, World Vision's Lauren Fisher compares two communities in Niger -- one that has a safe source of water, and one that does not. Follow Lauren's trip here on our blog or @WorldVisionNews (#wvlauren) for live, on-the-ground reports from the field.

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Lately, you could say water has become a major obsession of mine. In the past, I’ve taken it for granted. It’s the back-up beverage when I can’t find iced tea or soda; it's the bath I can count on at the end of a long day.

But as one colleague told me, in Zinder, water is precious. For me, that means there is no water at all, without warning, at any given time. At any given time, the shower stops working mid-shampoo, along with any other bathroom fixture. It’s made for some comical mornings, as you can well imagine.

A cup of coffee? Or water for a village?

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.


Why we start with water and sanitation

Recently I was invited on a trip with World Vision donors to visit our clean water programs in Uganda. I'm really proud that World Vision's water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programming is among the most advanced in the sector and helps thousands of children and families in communities affected by drought, natural disasters, and poor living conditions around the world.

While in Uganda, I talked with John Steifel, World Vision's Uganda WASH program coordinator.  I sat down with him for an informal interview so he could explain to me why we start with water in a community, and why clean water by itself isn't enough. He gave such a clear explanation of why sanitation and hygiene programs have to go hand in hand with bringing clean water. Here are the highlights:

Travel notes from Kenya

World Vision's Rachael Boyer is in Kenya this week, visiting our water and sanitation projects in a part of Africa long affected by drought and lack of access to clean, safe water for families and communities. Today, she shares her experiences from her first day in the field. Look for more of Rachael's trip notes on the blog later this week.

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I flew with a group of World Vision U.S. staff members and donors from Uganda into Kenya via Eldoret. Then, we traveled to Marich Pass, located in Kenya's Rift Valley, to see a particularly successful clean water project.

Previously, poor access to clean water in the area contributed to early marriages and school dropouts among the female students. Women also spent a high percentage of their time fetching water, leaving little time for other tasks.

Train. Pray. Run. (6 questions with a 100-mile runner)

Superman can defy gravity. Captain America has superhuman speed and endurance. Spider-Man can scale walls. For practically every law of nature, there is a superhero who can break that natural law.

Michael Chitwood is one of those guys. Where no single person in their human physical condition should be able to do what he is about to do, Chitwood and three others are going to do just that. They're going to run 100 miles in 21 straight hours -- 74 miles through the night starting this afternoon, October 8, and then they will join 1,000 Team World Vision teammates for the final 26.2 miles of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

When Michael first told me he was running 100 miles, I, of course, didn't believe him. One hundred miles in and of itself sounds humanly impossible. And doing any sort of physical activity for 21 straight hours -- well, I don't think most of us could even sleep for that amount of time. So you can understand my fascination with understanding why this team is going to such great lengths (literally). I recently chatted with Michael to get the 411 on his longest race yet.

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Lindsey (L): Okay, I have to ask…are you crazy for running 100 miles?!!

Michael (M): You know, I've been getting asked that question a lot lately. Really, I've been asked that question a lot since I ran my first marathon in 2003. Some people thought I was crazy to run a marathon, because I had never run and was pretty overweight at the time -- 265 pounds. Then, when I did my first Ironman Triathlon, some of my friends thought I was crazy. Then, last year, I did my first ultramarathon, a 56-mile run in South Africa…my friends said I was crazy. But for the first time in eight years, and after running all of these events, I have to admit…this one, running 100 miles, it's maybe just a little crazy.

Is Jesus more than a "sprinkle" blessing?

I'm excited to welcome Mark Hall -- the lead singer and songwriter for Casting Crowns, a long-time World Vision artist -- to the World Vision Blog. When I received this post from Mark, the source of the passion in his songwriting became immediately obvious. They're words of experience and depth from his heart. Thanks, Mark, for guest-blogging today and for giving us a peek into Casting Crowns' newest album. Don't forget to order the pre-sale of the album online at FamilyChristian.com.
Lindsey Talerico-Hedren, managing editor, World Vision Blog


When we went to adopt Hope and bring her home with us from China, she didn’t want me to hold her. I was told that usually when the orphaned children there see white men, they sometimes think they are doctors coming to do surgery on them.

It wasn't until seven days after we were back home that I told my wife Melanie, "I’m just going to go pick her up, and sooner or later, she’ll be too exhausted to cry anymore." We were at the zoo at the time. I picked her up, but she wasn’t going to have it. She screamed for the next 30 minutes.

Later that night, I was lying awake in bed, staring at the fan, having a conversation with God about this. It took us three years to be able to adopt Hope. Our family began the adoption process before she was born, with all its red tape and expense, the testing and interviews and waiting -- lots of waiting.

What would you paddle 6,000 miles for?

About a week ago I got this great email from a colleague telling me all about this recent college graduate who is embarking on a 15-month adventure around the Great Loop. (I confess I didn't know what the Great Loop is so I looked it up: The Great Loop is a continuous waterway around the eastern United States and Canada... The route ranges from 5,000 to 7,500 miles, passing through many states and several climate zones. Source: http://www.paddleforwells.com)

So, needless, to say... the Great Loop is basically an extraordinary waterway that would be no easy or quick trip for anyone. And what's more? Josh Tart is going to paddle the whole thing in his kayak. (This is where you and I have the same reaction -- WHAT!!??!)