in Africa - 4 min read
Africa: Clean Water & Education Go Hand-in-Hand
As the Child Sponsorship Program Director at World Help, my primary role is working closely with our international partners to strengthen children’s programs in 22 countries around the world. Our main objective is to develop programs that effectively care for children in impoverished communities and equip them with the tools needed to grow up to be productive and successful members of society.
In Africa, our children’s programs are focused on education—the basic building block for success. Our programs provide children with necessary tools like school books, uniforms, and tutoring.
But school supplies and a new uniform are useless if children can’t even show up to class regularly.
Across much of sub-Saharan Africa, children are forced to miss class while recovering from sicknesses caused by drinking contaminated water. Each year, water-related illnesses like cholera, typhoid, and bacterial diarrhea keep kids out of school for a combined 443 million school days. These absences mean missed lessons, in-class interactions, and poor exam performance.
In addition, many children (mostly girls) miss class or drop out of school entirely because they are needed at home to help haul water. For most, this small task can turn into a full-day chore since the nearest water source may be several kilometers away by foot.
This is why we consider access to clean water an educational component as essential as school supplies. With a clean-water source nearby, children can spend less time hauling water and recovering from illness and more time in the classroom.
I’ve personally witnessed the effectiveness of this model during my travels to Africa. Mbonqane, Zimbabwe, is a perfect example. Clean water is not only keeping attendance high, but it’s helping instructors provide a valuable course—gardening. Through a deep borewell, provided through causelife and Smile for Africa, upper primary students have access to clean water for drinking and agriculture. Students tend to their own plots of vegetables like yams, corn, and tomatoes—an invaluable skill in a country where 71 percent of people make their living through agriculture. This equips them for a bright future—providing for their families and attaining marketable skills for employment.
When it comes to improving lives, we need to see the whole picture in order to know how to make the most impact possible. Clean water is at the very foundation of sustainable development methods . . . even child sponsorship. When you partner with us in Africa, you support a holistic strategy to bring transformation—an approach that reaches every level.
Ways To Get Involved in Africa
CHILD SPONSORSHIP: World Help believes in changing the world . . . one child at a time. When a child has the resources needed not only to survive—but thrive—he has the potential to become a world-changer. Provide a child with nutrition, clean water, education, spiritual nurturing, and love. It’s an investment that lasts a lifetime and beyond. SPONSOR A CHILD >>
VOCATIONAL TRAINING: Empowering young adults with the skills training they need to earn an income is one of the greatest tools we can give toward building more sustainable communities. But a trade doesn’t just mean a paycheck—it instills confidence, dignity, and can be passed on to the next generation. GIVE TO SUPPORT VOCATIONAL TRAINING >>
CLEAN WATER: Clean water is essential to life, yet 780 million people around the world still live without it. When you give clean water to a community in need, its physical and economic condition will strengthen, child mortality plummets, school enrollment grows . . . and following generations are transformed. GIVE TO PROVIDE CLEAN WATER >>