While studying can be a bore for children in developing nations where opportunity is abounding, these students in Sri Lanka love it! The following is an inspiring update from Celeste and Jay in Sri Lanka.
“Today was a day of rain when we visited the village. The muddy water was coming from the mountain top with all force along the walking pathway to the tutoring class. We got there before the rains started. Some of the children came along the muddy slippery pathway with wet cloths; however the books were protected with plastic bags. As usual tea and biscuits were served. Due to heavy rains the children who lived more than half kilometer away was unable to come to class.
“This was a special day as the children want to speak to us with messages from their parents. The children told us that this is the first time an English and Math class free of cost was held in the village. They thanked GHNI for making this possible which have helped them get high marks in the school examination. They also said that the parents thanked GHNI for this wonderful service and requested the continued support that they too will help when necessary.
“When we asked what their future ambitions in life would be, most of them wanted to be teachers to teach their brothers and sisters and the village children.
“With the help of the teacher they have drawn up a sign expressing their sincere love to GHNI. They wanted me to picture them with the board and send it to GHNI in appreciation of the classes and tea provided to them free of cost.”
* For purposes of security and well-being, “U Village” is a pseudonym of the village that is being helped by this project.
In many cultures, collecting daily water for the family falls under the job description of women or girls. In Afghanistan, this entails a hike of two or more miles in harsh winter conditions up and down a mountainside. In Nepal, a young girl may miss out on attending school to complete a 4 hour round-trip journey through a forest filled with dangerous animals or worse, human traffickers waiting to kidnap a young girl. In Africa, collecting water involves walking over a mile through a jungle filled with dangerous animals to a river filled with camel dung.
All of these risks to bring home a bucket of dirty water, filled with germs and bacteria.
GHNI staffer, Jeff Power, recently took a group of Americans to Attir Village, Kenya, Africa. Read Jeff’s below account of the team’s journey to gather water with the women….
“Our team met with village leaders for over an hour in the morning. Then I declared that we wanted to walk with the women for their daily trip to the animal stream, through the bush, in the blazing sun. They were thrilled our team cared, and a small parade of villagers launched out into the bush, leading us.
“It was only after 30 minutes into the walk I learned what added danger to the daily trek — the occasional lion, hyena or cobra.
“Are you kidding me!!?!!? I asked how often such an encounter occurred. Habiba, our National Leader in Kenya, laughed and said, ‘Only sometimes.’
“Fortunately for us, we didn’t have to face a deadly animal on that walk. But when we reached our destination we were sickened by something just as deadly — a stream of water that trickled through thick layers of animal dung.
“The women all gently moved the top layer of crud off the water, then dipped their scoops into the stream to put water into their 20-litre jerry cans to take back to their families. Some of the women would also put the scoop to their mouth to cool their thirst from the long hot walk. We were visibly shaken.
“That day we promised Attir we would help them immediately learn how to clean their water until we’re able to also help them drill a well in the center of their village. And we will make good on that promise.”
Nearly all the villagers we come alongside do not have running water but we help them find solutions for safe access to clean water for drinking, washing, and cooking.