Elizabeth stands at the edge of her doorway in Zimbabwe and stares out into the black veil of night. At age 50, she shouldn’t still be afraid of the dark. But here she is at 3 a.m., nervous to begin another five-mile journey into the shadows so she can avoid the heat of the day.
By now, she knows her way down the path by heart. The quiet is spooky at first, but she’s grateful when she remembers a crunch of leaves or the breaking of a branch will alert her to someone else’s presence.
Elizabeth quickly whispers a prayer of protection. She is keenly aware of the dangers awaiting her on this trail. She knows other mothers who’ve been attacked at night — some by dangerous men, others by wild animals.
But she has promised her children when they wake up in the morning, she will be there waiting with a treasure: clean water.
Unfortunately, the nearest well is more than an hour’s walk away. And it will take her even longer to make the trek back with the heavy jugs of water weighing her down. Although her back is stiff, her feet are sore, and her muscles ache, she has no choice but to keep moving.
And Elizabeth isn’t alone. Countless men and women just like her are forced to make similar journeys each day. They walk long distances, and for some, the only to find water they find is polluted with trash and animal waste. Not only does the water fail to refresh, it also contains waterborne diseases that can make a person deathly sick.
Families in developing nations are faced daily with many difficult decisions. Life is hard on so many levels, but knowingly giving your family tainted water to drink, bathe in, wash dishes in, or clean with leaves many mothers feeling hopeless. Parents want what’s best for their children — offering them anything less is crushing.
But when you give $15 to provide safe water to someone, it’s like medicine. It saves lives, restores hope, and establishes a foundation for real change.
Think about how your life compares to Elizabeth’s. If you’re thirsty at 3 a.m., you probably just take a few steps to your bathroom or kitchen where clean water is waiting for you. The only danger you might risk is stubbing your toe in the dark.
Elizabeth risks her life every day so her children will have something to drink.
Her life is very different from the lives of most people here in the United States who have never had to worry about having access to clean water. That’s why it’s heartbreaking to think about people like Elizabeth and her children. Water is a basic human right — but women and children in developing nations are struggling … and dying … to find it.
Will you give $15 today to provide someone with clean water for an entire year?
You can help makes sure a mother like Elizabeth doesn’t have to leave her babies at 3 a.m. so she can go collect water or give her family dirty water to drink.