Around ten years ago, I began learning about the lack of access to clean water in various parts of the globe. It doesn’t take much research to learn what clean water means for a community. It the most basic way, it means life. Drinking dirty and contaminated water leads to all kinds of sicknesses that end a tremendous amount of lives. Young children are especially vulnerable because their immunities aren’t built up to fight off disease like adults. A case of diarrhea can become chronic, leading to malnutrition, leading to death. For many parts in the world, unsafe water is the only option. I began supporting different organizations that provided clean water many years ago. As a family it became something we learned about together. I advocated for water wells and water purification systems on this blog. I don’t think you have to see something like lack of clean water to be passionate about seeing communities receive this most basic need.
I never thought I would see a community get a water well.
Then I went to Ghana.
For several years I’ve been a part of The Christmas Gathering, a local event by my friend Denise and her team. Part of the proceeds from the event go towards things like providing water wells in Ghana. While on our trip we were able to visit a village as they dedicated their first water well.
The Chief shared all that the water well would mean to the village. In the community there are Christians, Muslims and those that practice Voodoo. The well had been provided by Christians, but the Chief and Denise spoke of how the well is for all people and how it should be a place of coming together and not division. The water would bring life, but it would also bring unity to the village. The water is for all.
Because of our involvement in The Christmas Gathering, Denise asked Cindy and I to join the Chief in the ribbon cutting. I fought her a little on that…such an honor, but not one I deserved. I love how you can see the building excitement on everyone’s faces. Water was coming!!!!
The joy on the faces of moms standing nearby as the kids drank freely is something I will never forget. I never worry about the water my kids drink. Watching these moms gather around the well without worry stopped me in my tracks. Together the women immediately began filling their bowls to take home. It would take three women to lift the heavy bowls onto the head of another. So heavy!Bowl after bowl. They kept coming.
This is one of my favorite pictures. I snapped it with my iPhone. You can see the delight on her little face. Clean water came to her home. New life came to her village.