10 Days 2015 Update: Safe Water for 286 Families
Last year 1,138 college students from 17 different universities participated in the 10 Days and raised $71,386 for clean water. Today we have some exciting news to report from Rwanda.
The 10 Days 2015 campaign funded water projects that will benefit 286 families.
For the communities blessed by these projects (Remera 1, Remera 2, Ngurukizi 2, and Bugarama), drawing water from devastatingly unsafe sources was a daily reality. “Water is a big challenge for everyone in Remera,” shared 42-year-old farmer, Nyirabarinda Francine. “We have a spring that we rely on for clean water. . . . Sometimes there is a little water coming from it, and we go to swamps to get any water for household use.”
Without safe water sources, the community was vulnerable to malaria, chronic respiratory infections, and typhoid. Their options to get clean, safe water on a regular basis were nonexistent. Every day they faced choices no human should have to make. “…We used water from swamps where pigs are being reared as well,” said Murebwayire Belansile.
When kids got sick, they lost hours that could’ve been spent in school. When parents were ill, they lost opportunities to work and earn an income for their families. Every cup of dirty water kept the families stuck in a vicious cycle of disease and poverty.
With the money from the 10 Days, the field team was able to work with local leaders in Rwanda to determine the best drill sites for these communities. Throughout the drilling process, the communities assisted with labor, provided security to protect the equipment, and gathered local resources to use for the construction. The communities also assembled water committees consisting of five people each to oversee the ongoing care and maintenance needs of the wells.
Disease thrives when there is insufficient access to safe water and when communities do not practice safe hygiene and sanitation habits on a daily basis. To prevent the continual struggle with disease in these four communities, the field team trained 133 local residents in safe hygiene and sanitation practices. Because handwashing is one key practice that can eliminate many hygiene-related diseases, the field team showed the residents how and when to wash their hands.
The team members also helped the residents understand how to keep the well area clean and protect the water from the moment of collection until consumption. These lessons, once put into practice, can set the community on the right path to experiencing the biggest impact from their safe water source by coupling the water with safer daily practices.
The team came with more than just a physical goal of providing safe water—they came with the goal of sharing the hope and love of Christ. As a result of the ministry at these four project sites, 648 individuals chose to accept Jesus as their Savior.
This is incredible news that’s worth celebrating. But let’s also choose to remember the 663 million people who still lack access to safe water, and let’s remember that we can do something about it.
The 10 Days 2016 campaign is just 49 days away!
The global water crisis is too big for one person to handle alone, but when we work together, incredible things can happen. If you’re interested in participating, check out 10days.cc to learn more.