Clean Water’s Ripple Effect on Young Girls…
Above: Missy spent the day with Amanda, learning just how hard it is to collect water. Amanda is waiting to be reached by INA and its supporters.
When Missy Lancaster travelled to Uganda, water and hygiene issues became particularly important to her. Here she reflects on her experiences visiting girls both in and outside of INA's programs...
We visited a young girl called Amanda. This is an area where INA is waiting to reach. When Amanda returned from school she, her sister and the community children had to go and collect litres and litres of water. For our sake, they let Amanda go first, but to collect 10 litres of water from a little pipe with a dribble of water coming out, we were standing there for about half an hour. Within this community, with everyone using around 30 litres a day, you can be standing there all night waiting for water.
What we saw, was a lot of women and kids coming and just using the contaminated water nearby. By doing that, everyone’s getting sick and getting diseases. So we walked all the way back with the water, and Amanda carried the water on her head. Because they’re so used to carrying the heavy buckets of water on their head it actually stunts their growth. Like Amanda, there are many girls who are 14, but look nine.
The first day that we were here, we got to meet a little girl called Immaculate. Her father died of AIDS, her mother abandoned them, so she lives with her grandmother and her other siblings. We spent the whole day with her, we heard her story, and we went home with her. We went and saw where she collects her water.
One of the great things I did see about Immy is that she is lucky enough to be a ChildLink child, which means she is sponsored every month. Her toilet blew down in a storm, but the grandmother approached International Needs and the finances have been able to go into building a sanitary block at Immy’s house. ChildLink is teaching Immy and her family about how to be hygienic, and to wash their hands. Small things like this can prevent diseases and we can save lives…
Through INA, they have also been able to put facilities into the school at Buikwe where they can literally pump clean water whenever they want. If these kids weren’t coming here to school, they wouldn’t have that access to fresh water.
The difference between the everyday experiences of Amanda and Immaculate is huge. One has to use contaminated water, risk illnesses and stunted growth. The other has clean water, help when needed and the tools to live hygienically.
Supporting a ChildLink child helps in so many ways – creating a positive ripple effect through them, their families and communities. Thank you!
Above: Immaculate collects water with Missy. As a sponsored ChildLink child, she has access to clean water, support for her and her family and tools to live hygienically and healthily.