70 Days to Clean Water!

So here we are, starting with water.  For the next 70 days, we’re asking you, our sisters, to take action and do your thing. Then we’re asking you to share some of your earnings to help bring clean water to our sisters in South Sudan.

70 Day Water Challenge for South Sudan

As we prayed and thought about how Sister Effect should begin, what we might highlight first, we couldn’t help but remember how basic water is to everything.

Water equals life.

And no water – or water from contaminated sources – yields disease, hunger, disadvantage and death.

women of Mapel, South SudanLast year, we met with these beautiful women in the village of Mapel.  For a long while, we sat in the open air of a tiny empty church that had been built during the war by an aid organization.  Though we’d never met before, we visited like old friends, talking of things we have in common – our children, our families, aspects of our daily routines.  But then after a while, we asked our sisters about some of the hardship in South Sudan – and we asked them what sorts of things might make their lives better, more productive.

Without exception, every one of these women asked for clean drinking water.

unhealthy water in South SudanThen they explained things that most of us don’t understand about water.  Hard things like how trekking hours and miles daily for water made it more likely for sexual violence and kidnapping to occur.  Grueling things like carrying heavy jugs (called Jerry cans) in the more than 120 degree heat was so time-consuming that girls often could not attend school. And then there was perpetual sickness and disease to contend with because water sources were contaminated.  Oh – and there were no more local gardens; the women and girls could not haul sufficient water to irrigate even the tiniest family garden.  Thus, food was very scarce…

So here we are, starting with water.  For the next 70 days, we’re asking you, our sisters, to take action and do your thing.  Then we’re asking you to share some of your earnings to help bring clean water to our sisters in South Sudan.   Because when water comes to a village, everything changes for women and their families, including access to:

Better health – Clean water reduces the frequency of sickness and diseasegathering around the water supply
Better education – Two things here:  first, if girls are out fetching water, they can’t make it to school, and second, if they’re sick from unsafe water sources, they’re unable to attend class.  Either way, local and safe water sources make it much more likely for girls to attend school, if there is one.
Reduced hunger – Access to water means food can be grown locally and families are better nourished and no longer hungry
Better economic opportunity – Water equals better care of livestock and crops, and water wells placed near schools makes education more likely for all
Better security and stability – Local clean water sources eliminate long and dangerous treks for water. The presence of water also lets villagers stay put in their communities since migrating in search of reliable sources is no longer necessary.  This leads to more sustainable communities.

So please – take the Water Effect Challenge with us.  In just 70 days, we can help give clean water, water that can irrevocably change life for our sisters in South Sudan.

Remember:  100% of donations that we receive from Water Effect will be directed to drilling wells and offering hygiene training in South Sudan.