Clean Water Matters in the Fight for Gender Equality
Kirinda's Story | Chapter Four
Sumayiya has a wide, infectious smile that seems to cast sunlight. Her laughter emanates the purity of childhood.
She is smart . . . kindhearted . . . and has a beautiful singing voice. Behind her smile, you would be surprised to know that she has undergone so much heartache for such a young girl.
AIDS has made Sumayiya’s world an emotionally delicate one. Her father succumbed to the disease when she was a little girl, and tragically, she has watched her mother’s health slowly decline during her childhood. For the last several years, she has lived with her grandmother, who—though trying valiantly—struggles to give her the care she needs to thrive.
And on top of it all, Sumayiya—along with millions of her African sisters—must disproportionately bear the burden of water.
Customarily, women and girls throughout sub-Saharan Africa are tasked with the daily chore of gathering water for their families—which can require walking several miles a day with heavy containers.
As a result, girls miss significantly more school than their male peers, which is reflected in less education and lower literacy rates.
“[We] have to go to one borehole located a distance from our home, where we spend a lot of time in a long line waiting to fill our jerry cans with water. This is very dangerous especially for young girls like me,” Sumayiya told us.
The journey for water is often a perilous one for women and girls, as predators lay in wait along the way.
In Northern Uganda, one-third of all women have been victims of sexual violence. What’s more, the first sexual encounter of 25 percent of girls is reported to be against their will.
Many of these instances occur when girls are collecting water alone.
Don’t allow your mind to go numb. Imagine for one moment that a girl like Sumayiya might be sexually assaulted just for fulfilling her daily chore . . . collecting water. Take in the injustice.
And as equally heartbreaking is knowing this can be remedied by providing clean water in the heart of these girls’ villages.
World Help has committed to making the world a safer place for girls like Sumayiya. This World Water Day, we’re pledging to bring clean water to her village in a region called Kirinda.
With the help of our supporters, our vision is to build a clean-water well and pipeline that will distribute water to three different locations throughout Kirinda. These access points are located in the heart of three villages, where girls can collect water quickly and safely.
The chances for predator attacks will be eliminated . . . and their trips for water will no longer be filled with dread. Sumayiya and her friends will also be able to spend more time in school.
March 22 is World Water Day, and we’re asking you to champion health and equality with us by giving the gift of clean water to Kirinda, Uganda. Take a moment to meet the children and families living in this region and hear from their own mouths why clean water will change everything in Kirinda.
Will you make your best gift today on behalf of the health and safety of children like Sumayiya?