March 2019



This post was originally published on this site

The story of 5-year-old Cheru, whose daily life in Kenya was consumed with finding water, has inspired thousands of people around the world to walk or run World Vision’s Global 6K for Water. Cheru’s lack of clean water and sanitation made her sick, threatened her education, and limited her family’s income. Today, thanks to caring donors, Cheru, her family, and neighbors have clean water and so much more.

World Vision staff and community volunteers worked together to bring water from a pure mountain spring to Cheru’s village 16 kilometers away. Here’s how they transformed their lives through clean water:

Clean water comes to semi-arid West Pokot County, Kenya. World Vision staff and volunteers inspect the intake dam that diverts water from the Kwok River to feed a gravity water system for three villages in West Pokot County, Kenya. World Vision organized the three communities to build a gravity-fed water system.

World Vision staff and volunteers inspect the intake dam that diverts water from the Kwok River to feed a gravity water system for three villages in West Pokot County, Kenya. The county water ministry constructed the dam some years before, but the water project was abandoned before completion. World Vision organized the three communities to restart the project. An environmental impact assessment shows the water quality is excellent and the flow plentiful year-round, says Charles Kakiti, World Vision water engineer, second from left. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Kesot water project in West Pokot County, Kenya, brings water to Cheru’s village. Led by skilled contractors, local workers lay pipes to transport clean water to more than 1,000 households and their livestock. They clear brush, dig trenches, and carry sand, rocks, and other materials. The pipeline traverses 16 kilometers (nearly 10 miles) of often difficult terrain.

Led by skilled contractors, local workers lay pipes to transport clean water to more than 1,000 households and their livestock. They clear brush, dig trenches, and carry sand, rocks, and other materials. The pipeline traverses 16 kilometers (nearly 10 miles) of often difficult terrain. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Water committee members stand and pray during their meeting on the grounds of the Chepolet Primary School where they discussed progress of the Sook Cheru water project. The 15-member committee represents Kesot, Chepolet, and Chemwapit, communities that have water kiosks and other water and sanitation infrastructure. Committee members are learning to manage the pipeline and to promote good hygiene practices, including using latrines.

Water committee members pray during a meeting. They credit God with the blessings that have come to them with clean water. Each of the three participating villages elected five committee members to represent them on the committee. Community members were involved in every aspect of the design and construction of the pipeline, from the location of water kiosks to user fees. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Cheru and other children stop on their way to school to watch repairs being made to the water pipeline. A heavy rain the day before had uncovered and damaged some sections. Six locals have been trained to monitor and maintain the 16-km World Vision pipeline that brings water to the dry lowlands from a year-round mountain spring.

Children stop on the way to school to watch local technicians repair a break in the pipeline caused by a flash flood. The workers and volunteers along the route monitor the pipeline daily so repairs can be made quickly to keep the water flowing. When the under story of plants has regrown in a few years, they will protect the pipeline from washouts.  (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

People get clean drinking water from the water kiosk next to the Chemwapit marketplace. On market day, the water kiosk and trough in Chemwapit are busy with people and animals, many of whom walked for hours to reach the weekly marketplace. World Vision’s Sook water project brought clean water and latrines to nearby Chemwapit Primary School, too.

The weekly market at Chemwapit has grown and is held year-round now that there is a water kiosk nearby. Vendors have opened restaurants and tea shops and the county water department built toilets. The livestock market has expanded because there’s a water trough for animals. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Cheru and schoolmates look at the school's water tank. At Kesot Primary School, clean water is stored in a 50-cubic-meter masonry storage tank. Before World Vision’s water project brought clean water to the school, the children carried water to school each morning. Sometimes they missed school and often they came late because they had to carry water to their homes. World Vision’s Sook area water project includes boys’ and girls’ latrines and handwashing stations, as well as a standpipe with two water taps at primary schools in Kesot, Chepolet and Chemwapit communities. Now that boys and girls have clean water and better latrines at their schools, they are learning about the importance of sanitation and hygiene.

Water is stored in 50-cubic-meter tanks at each of the three schools. Children at Kesot Primary School watch water technicians repair a leak between the tank and a standpipe. With water stored in tanks and kiosks along the length of the pipeline, people are able to access water even while sections of pipe are isolated for repairs.  (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Cheru and her classmates at Kesot Primary School benefit from four-unit girls’ and boys’ latrines including a handicapped latrine and a handwashing station for each toilet block. World Vision’s Cheru Community Water Project includes similar toilet facilities at primary schools in Chepolet and Chemwapit communities. Now that boys and girls have clean water and better latrines at their schools, they are learning about the importance of sanitation and hygiene.

Cheru, left, and her older sister, Dina, run to the girls’ latrine at Kesot Primary School. Now that schools have sinks for handwashing and boys’ and girls’ toilets, students are learning about cleanliness and hygiene and taking those lessons home to share with their families. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

At the Kesot Dispensary, community health volunteer John Komintany, 39, examines Cheru, who has a cold, with her mother Monica, and baby brother, Sote. World Vision’s water project has brought water nearby the nurses’ residence and to a water tap inside the dispensary

Cheru and her mother, Monica, visit the Kesot health center. A standpipe and toilets are important additions to the health center for both patients and staff. Previously, patients had to bring their own water. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

People get clean drinking water from a kiosk at Chepolet in World Vision’s Cheru Community Water Project water project. The project brought clean water and latrines to nearby Chemwapit Primary School, too, plus to five other kiosks, schools and the health clinic.

Clean, plentiful water is available close by for everyone in who lives along the pipeline. Fetching water was once a daily struggle, but now people can prioritize health, education, and income activities. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Clean water comes to semi-arid West Pokot County, Kenya. Children watch in amazement as grownups dance, sing, and play childhood games at a celebration of the coming of water to their community.

Children look on in amazement as adults play childhood games and sing during a celebration for the opening of the pipeline. “We’re happy; the animals are happy, even the birds are happy!” says Cheru’s father, Samson. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

The post How’d they do that: Transforming lives like Cheru’s through clean water appeared first on World Vision.


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In Kesot village in Kenya, as in so many other places in sub-Saharan Africa, people used to struggle every day to get water — any water. Even at 5 years old, Cheru Lotuliapus not only understood this struggle, she lived it.

Each morning, Cheru walked nearly two hours and then competed with goats and camels to dig for water in a dry riverbed.

Without clean water, life was difficult. She and her siblings were sometimes too sick or tired to go to school. The health center was often closed. The church frequently sat empty.

But life has changed for Cheru, now 6. With World Vision’s help, her community built a pipeline that brings clean water down from a mountain spring.

Around the world, more communities like Cheru’s are awash in hope. World Vision reaches one new person with clean water every 10 seconds and reaches three more schools every day with clean water.

 

Morning dawns on the steep, densely wooded hillside where crystal-clear water bubbles from a spring. Sixteen kilometers (nearly 10 miles) away in the lowlands, 6-year-old Cheru Lotuliapus fills her cup with that same cool water as it flows from the spigot near her home.

“This water tastes good,” she says.

She holds Sote, her 7-month-old brother, while Monica, her mother, stitches the pocket on her yellow school shirt. Cheru helps her mother with the laundry, dishes, and baby-sitting, but the one chore she doesn’t do anymore is carry water. With a water kiosk only a few steps away, it’s easy enough for Monica to keep jerrycans full of clean water on her doorstep.

“I like to help, and I like to be clean,” says Cheru, handing back the baby and putting on her freshly-laundered shirt. Neatly dressed and with her face washed, Cheru eagerly joins a troop of children on their way to school. Holding hands and skipping, they set out on the 2-kilometer walk.

Cheru’s father, Samson, watches proudly as the children head down the dirt road. He already sees a better future for them. “We’ve had water for a month, and it’s brought us great peace,” he says. “We have time and energy for other things.”

Cheru, 6, walks with other children to Kesot Primary School, 2 km from her home, often holding hands with the other children. Before World Vision’s water project brought clean water near to their homes, the children were tired from walking 6 km each day and carrying water to school each morning and to their homes in the afternoon. Sometimes they missed school and often they came late because they had to carry water. Now that clean, safe water is right at their doorstep, they have more time and energy for schoolwork and play. A neighbor, Rael, says that since they got water, “these children are cleaner, healthier, and smarter in school.”
Cheru and her friends walk to Kesot Primary School. Now that they have clean water, the no longer have to gather water to and from school. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

An open door for education

Access to clean water means that Cheru — healthy, clean, and rested — can consistently attend school. Once she arrives at Kesot Primary School, she’s welcomed by head teacher John Dungo, 34.

He’s noticed that with clean water available at the three primary schools along the pipeline, many more students like Cheru are coming regularly — and classes are overflowing. John says that they’re building new classrooms to accommodate the influx in attendance.

When class begins, Cheru is quick to raise her hand to answer questions and shouts “one, two, three …” when the class counts in English.

“I love school,” she says. Writing and drawing are her favorite subjects.

The three primary schools now have water tanks, standpipes with two spigots, and four latrines each for boys and girls, including an accessible unit for disabled children. Outside the latrines are sinks with running water for handwashing. It’s the first year Cheru and her classmates have clean, plentiful water at school. They are also beginning to learn about hygiene and health.

The head teachers of the three primary schools received hygiene training and materials from World Vision and organized hygiene and sanitation clubs for their students. They also host community meetings where adults learn about the importance of keeping clean and building and using family toilets.

“Children who know and practice good hygiene are excellent advocates with their parents,” says Clement Limaki, 45, head teacher at nearby Chepolet Primary School.

West Pokot Kenya, Cheru water project. Whether wet or dry, road access is difficult – and impossible in places – over the 16-km length of the Sook water project pipeline that brought water to Cheru’s village. World Vision drivers face severe road conditions, including clouds of dust over eroded, rutted tracks, falling rocks, and flash floods in rivers and streams that block the way.
Whether wet or dry, road access is difficult — and impossible in places — over the 16-kilometer pipeline that brought water to Cheru’s village. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Water flows from the mountaintop

The sight of the dry, barren land and struggling people of West Pokot County at first discouraged Charles Kakiti, a World Vision water engineer. The county water department had started a water project here some years back. They tapped a water source and began laying a pipeline. However, the project ran into financial trouble, and clean water never flowed.

“It wasn’t easy to get water to this dry place,” says Charles. It seemed impossible to finish the project because the road was so bad. However, when he saw there was plentiful, clean water gushing from a spring in the hills, his attitude changed.

“God has blessed this place with everything that’s needed for people and animals to live a good life,” he says. But it would take organization, cooperation, hard work, and perseverance to bring water down from the mountaintop.

Charles and Abu Lokilimak, a World Vision project manager, began the project in faith and buoyed by prayer. They organized the water committee with five representatives each from Chepolet, Chemwapit, and Kesot — the three communities along the pipeline. Kesot chose Cheru’s father, Samson, as one of their water committee members. The three head teachers are also members of the committee.

Another member, Anna Lokitwol, 36, says she prayed for the water project and for it to be sustainable. “To have this water is a great gift, and we must take care of it. Also, I pray for the people who gave money so we could have water,” she says.

Anna proposed that each family pay 100 shillings (about $1) a month and schools pay 500 shillings (nearly $5) a month for upkeep to the water system so there will always be money for repairs.

Together, the water committee decided the placement of the kiosks, standpipes, and water troughs. Over 18 months, the community dug trenches, carried pipes, and connected them. They hauled cement and carried water for making concrete to build the kiosks, standpipes, water troughs for the animals, and latrines at the schools. Charles trained six local people to maintain the pipeline and handle repairs.

The day before the water was scheduled to come to the kiosk at Kesot, the end of the pipeline, Abu and Charles double-checked all the connections. They spent a sleepless night trying to doze in the truck — worrying, waiting, and praying that everything would work right the next morning.

Monica, Cheru’s mother, leads a procession of villagers to the Kesot water kiosk. They’re celebrating the new water system with songs, dances, and games. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Blessings overflow

As morning dawned on the momentous day, Cheru stood right up front — eyes bright with amazement as the clean water flowed. Then she watched her father be the first to fill a glass and drink from it as everyone cheered.

Cheru’s mother recalls the exhilaration surrounding the scene. “That day when the water first came, we ran to our houses and brought jerrycans to fetch the water because we thought the water would get finished,” says Monica. “But seeing the water the next day, I went to my neighbors and I told them: ‘You all come and fetch, and bring your clothes to wash. The water is not getting finished.’”

With water close at hand, families can prioritize other critical areas in their lives: health, education, and income. Monica’s mind is brimming with new ideas. She wants to grow a vegetable garden and start a business selling clothes and sugar. Cheru dreams of becoming a doctor.

As a water committee member, Samson’s top priorities are toilets and baths. “This will change everything,” he says. “We have a toilet now. All the water committee members are going to have them, and we’ll see that others do too.”

With his arms around Cheru, Samson praises God for the joy that has come to his family because of clean water. “We’re happy. The animals are happy. Even the birds are happy,” he says, breaking into a wide grin.

Cheru (wearing blue skirt and red shirt) and other children decorate the Africa Gospel Church in Kesot before Sunday morning services, and sprinkle water on the dirt to keep down the dust. Since piped water came to Kesot community, church members repaired the finish on the church’s mud exterior. Next they plan to replace the dirt floor with concrete. Before World Vision’s water project brought clean water close to their homes, families sometimes came to church late, dirty, and tired from carrying water, says Pastor Solomon Kapel, 25. Now they are pouring new energy and enthusiasm into their church.
Children, including Cheru (in orange), come early to decorate the church. Before World Vision’s water project brought clean water close to their homes, families sometimes came to church late, dirty, and tired from carrying water. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Rejoicing in God’s bounty

On Sunday, when Cheru hears Pastor Solomon Kapel beating his drum, she excitedly runs to find him. She wants to be the first in line to help him cut flowers and branches to decorate the church before the service begins.

As the congregation gathers, women place jerrycans of water by the door, so anyone can get a drink when they’re thirsty. Then they sprinkle the dirt floor with water, so they won’t kick up dust when they dance and sing.

The church overflows with worshippers, children and adults alike dressed in their best. Cheru loves church. She joins in wholeheartedly to sing, dance, and praise the Lord.

“Water has changed everything here for the better,” says Solomon. “We praise God for it.”

He is deeply moved at the blessings that have come with clean water. Without hesitation, the congregation hauled water and applied a new mud finish to the church exterior. They’re saving money for sacks of cement so they can have a concrete floor. Monica and other mothers want to start a childcare center at the church, and Samson says they need to build a latrine. There’s even talk of building a house for Solomon since he currently lives 7 kilometers (over 4 miles) away.

Solomon says, “Just like in the Bible where [God] gave his people water from the rock, this water system is a blessing from God.”

When the children’s choir comes forward, Cheru proudly stands in the front row — her clean face beaming. She sings and claps with joy.

For Cheru, it’s a refreshing new day.

Children in Kesot village do handstands, Cheru and her friends do handstands, joined by Charles Kakiti, World Vision water engineer. Touched by the donors who funded the Kesot water project, Charles ran the Global 6K to bring water to children in other parts of the world.
Children in Kesot village do handstands, joined by Charles Kakiti, a World Vision water engineer. Charles wears his Global 6K for Water T-shirt. Touched by the generosity of donors who funded the Kesot water project, he ran the Global 6K to help bring clean water to children in other parts of the world. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

How you can help children like Cheru

  • Learn more about clean water and how you can be part of the movement to end the global water crisis by 2030.
  • Join us in praying that more and more communities would have clean water access, and thank God for the access to clean water gained by this community.
  • Walk or run the Global 6K for Water on May 4, 2019, to provide life-changing clean water to one person in need. You’ll walk or run with the picture of the child receiving clean water through World Vision’s water projects.
  • Give a monthly gift to provide clean water to communities lacking it. Your ongoing gift creates lasting change in a community.

The post Cheru’s Kenyan community is awash in hope after receiving clean water appeared first on World Vision.


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Spring is almost here! Time to crawl out of winter hibernation and the depths of cold and flu season to embrace getting healthy. Some families sign up for a 5K race to get everybody moving again. But what if you could get fit, get your family outside, grow your faith, and make a difference for a great cause?

That’s a tall order for any family activity, but it really is possible. In fact, thousands of families are signing up for the Global 6K for Water on May 4, 2019, for all those great reasons. You can do it from anywhere, and each registration fee provides clean water for a person in need!

Why a 6K for clean water? Six kilometers (3.7 miles) is the average distance people in the developing world walk for water every day. Women and children, especially girls, spend hours every day hauling water that isn’t even safe to drink. But they have no other choice. We can change that.

Are you ready to be a part of the change? Join us in fighting the global water crisis by signing up today. And don’t forget these tips for fitness, faith-building, and fun to help you and your family prepare well for your walk for water.

Get ready for your Global 6K for Water

So, you signed up. (Or are thinking about it — what are you waiting for? Sign up now!) Are you ready? Can you get ready?

Maybe you’ve been too busy to get out there and pound the pavement. Maybe you’ve never participated in a walk, run, or race fundraiser before. Whatever it is, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

Here’s what you need to know to prepare well for your 6K and have a blast as you help bring clean water to children around the world.

Participants in the Global 6K for Water in Seattle make their way along the course to raise money for clean water around the world. (©2017 World Vision/photo by Andrea Peer)

Family fitness: The family that walks together …

Most of us need to spend less time on the couch and more time getting outside and being active. The great thing about the Global 6K for Water is that you can make the distance as easy or as challenging as you want.

Most people will walk the 6K, some will run, some will push strollers, and a few crazy athletes will do the 6K while carrying a heavy jerrycan full of water! Whatever you choose, training can be a great family fitness activity.

Even if you’ve been couch potatoes all winter, you can start with a 20-minute walk and increase your time from there every day. You’ll:

  • Increase your cardiovascular fitness
  • Get some vitamin D
  • Enjoy the beauty of God’s creation
  • Feel really good about helping others

Training tip: When you drink clean water out of your water bottles, remember why you’re walking (or running).

How to train when you don’t like training

Of course, you don’t have to be a runner to participate in the Global 6K or to bring clean water to families in need.

But if you’re up for the challenge, a few basic tips can take you a long way. All it takes to get started is that first step out your front door.

First, get inspired by watching this video.

 

Then download this guide to continue feeding your soul until the Global 6K for Water May 4. If you’d like to go deeper personally or engage fellow participants in your church family, check out this pre-event devotional guide. At the end, it offers a suggested music playlist for your training journey and during the event.

And to educate yourself on what your participation means to children and families around the world, spend a few minutes here.

If you’re looking to connect with other participants, find group training runs in your area.

Before running for miles — if you’re planning on running — get used to walking and getting in shape. When you’re comfortable, start jogging. From there, stick to the training plan, follow the run/walk ratios, and you’ll be ready for your 6K.

Growing your faith

Jesus said, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward” (Matthew 10:42, NIV).

As you train together, get your family talking about ways you can be the hands and feet of Jesus in your community and around the world. Here are some conversation starters:

  • Who do we know who has a need we could help meet?
  • How can we share the living water of God’s love with those around us?
  • What are some ways we can look out for “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40)?

The process of fundraising and training for a cause like clean water can be an inspirational and faith-building experience. Some people feel called to set big goals and then find unexpected joy when God helps blow those goals out of the water.

Global 6K for Water participants walk and run — raising awareness, giving generously, and bringing clean water to children around the world. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Heather Klinger)

How to fundraise when you’re scared to fundraise

Asking for money is scary. But you’re asking your friends and family to participate with you in doing something extraordinary and beyond yourself: bringing clean, safe water to communities for generations. Here are the basic steps to make it a little less scary:

  • Set an example: When people see that you donated, it shows you have skin in the game.
  • Make a list: Write a list of 20 to 50 people you will invite to give.
  • Be direct and bold: Ask people face-to-face.
  • Follow up: Sometimes folks need a simple reminder.
  • Share: Social media is a good way to share your journey and seek support. Use #6Kforwater to share your journey.
  • Don’t quit: Not everyone will give. That’s okay. Carry on, be tenacious, and don’t give up.

See the full list of basic steps, and take it further with these sample emails and photos. These people are amazing examples of that bold, no-quit attitude.

How to connect with the child on your race bib

Every 6K participant provides clean water to one person in the developing world through the $50 registration fee, and your race bib will have a picture, name, and age of a child who will benefit from World Vision’s clean water projects. We encourage you to reflect on the transformative impact of the Global 6K and pray for these children as you participate in the event.

Plus, you will have the chance to sponsor the child on your bib — an opportunity to develop a friendship with a child on the other side of the world, and to show the love of God, which brings hope and lifelong transformation.

See what happened when Ashley, our Global 6K director, sponsored Beverly.

 

If a child is thriving, everyone is thriving. It’s why World Vision believes so deeply in child sponsorship. It’s a personal way to show God’s love to a child in need and to help that child and their community stand tall and free from poverty.

Participating is better together

Even if you do all these things, your preparation and race day will be more fun and enjoyable if you partner with someone else. Find a friend, loved one, or mentor to train with, and invite them to do the Global 6K for Water with you.

And if you still need a little kick of inspiration to get you out the door, read these dynamic stories from other participants featured in our Team World Vision Hall of Awesome.

Remember, we’ll go further together!

How to get fit and grow your faith as family | Family fitness | Family time | get outside | family project

Rachael Boyer of World Vision’s staff in the U.S. contributed to this article.

The post Global 6K for Water: Get fit as a family and grow your faith appeared first on World Vision.


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Flooding in Southern Africa has affected more than 2.5 million people in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe since rains began in early March and Cyclone Idai struck March 14 and 15. Waters are still rising, as is the death toll — now in the hundreds, but expected to exceed 1,000 people.

Idai is the strongest cyclone on record in the Southern Hemisphere. The U.N. children’s agency estimates that 260,000 children are affected.

Heavy rains continue to pound the region, likely leading to more lives lost, people displaced, and property destroyed.

Help people affected by Cyclone Idai.

Cyclone Idai and Southeast African floods timeline

March 3 – The tropical disturbance that would become Cyclone Idai develops and begins to strengthen near the coast of Africa.

March 5 – Heavy rains cause severe flooding across Mozambique and Malawi.

March 11 – Now a tropical depression, the storm builds in intensity between coastal Africa and Madagascar.

March 14 to 15 – Tropical Cyclone Idai makes landfall near Beira, Mozambique, as a Category 2 storm with sustained winds exceeding 105 mph.

March 20 – Heavy rains continue along with search and rescue operations and damage assessments.

FAQs: What you need to know about Cyclone Idai

Find answers to frequently asked questions about Cyclone Idai and flooding in Southeast Africa, including how you can help people affected by this disaster.

Where did Cyclone Idai develop?

Cyclone Idai developed in the Mozambique channel between Mozambique and Madagascar. Often, storms that develop there don’t strengthen as much as those that form north and east of Madagascar, but Cyclone Idai was fed by warm water temperatures.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

Where and when did Cyclone Idai make landfall?

Starting on the evening of March 14, Cyclone Idai made landfall in Beira, Mozambique, a coastal city of half a million people. The fierce storm pummeled Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe with strong winds and rains.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

How much damage did Cyclone Idai cause?

The full extent of damage is not yet known because many areas are still under water and inaccessible. Rescue crews are still at work and people are trapped in remote areas.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

What is Cyclone Idai’s death toll?

A week after the storm made landfall, the death toll has not been determined. More than 300 people have been confirmed dead and hundreds more are still considered missing. The president of Mozambique estimates that more than 1,000 have died in Mozambique alone.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

What’s the difference between a hurricane, typhoon, and cyclone?

Hurricanes form in the Atlantic and Caribbean, cyclones in the Indian Ocean, and typhoons in the Asia-Pacific region. Scientifically, they are all known as tropical cyclones.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

How have people been affected by cyclone and flooding?

Many people have lost family members and friends, their homes and possessions and seen their communities devastated. Disease outbreaks and hunger are looming as people struggle to access aid and recover.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

How can I help people affected by Cyclone Idai?

  • Pray for people who are in need and the aid workers who are working to bring relief.
  • Give to World Vision’s Cyclone Idai relief fund.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

What is World Vision doing to help people affected by the cyclone and flooding?

World Vision is mounting a disaster response in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, where we already have operated for years.

Our initial focus is on food and nutrition, water and sanitation, household goods and shelter assistance, health, child protection, and education.

Aid is reaching people in need, and more is on the way:

  • Malawi – Distributions of emergency food and tarpaulins have begun. Mosquito nets and chlorine for water treatment have been supplied for 80,000 people.
  • Mozambique – 3,000 families have received household items.
  • Zimbabwe — Kitchen kits, blankets, buckets, water treatment tablets, and personal hygiene items are being distributed.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

The post 2019 Cyclone Idai: Facts, FAQs, and how to help appeared first on World Vision.




This post was originally published on this site

In Kesot village in Kenya, as in so many other places in sub-Saharan Africa, people used to struggle every day to get water—any water. Even at 5 years old, Cheru Lotuliapus not only understood this struggle, she lived it.

Each morning, Cheru walked nearly two hours and then competed with goats and camels to dig for water in a dry riverbed.

Without clean water, life was difficult. She and her siblings were sometimes too sick or tired to go to school. The health center was often closed. The church frequently sat empty.

But life has changed for Cheru, now 6. With World Vision’s help, her community built a pipeline that brings clean water down from a mountain spring.

Around the world, more communities are awash in hope, like Cheru’s. World Vision reaches one new person with clean water every 10 seconds and reaches three more schools every day with clean water.

 

Morning dawns on the steep, densely wooded hillside where crystal-clear water bubbles from a spring. Sixteen kilometers (nearly 10 miles) away in the lowlands, 6-year-old Cheru Lotuliapus fills her cup with that same cool water as it flows from the spigot near her home.

“This water tastes good,” she says.

She holds Sote, her 7-month-old brother, while Monica, her mother, stitches the pocket on her yellow school shirt. Cheru helps her mother with the laundry, dishes, and baby-sitting, but the one chore she doesn’t do anymore is carry water. With a water kiosk just a few steps away, it’s easy enough for Monica to keep jerry cans full of clean water on her doorstep.

“I like to help, and I like to be clean,” says Cheru, handing back the baby and putting on her freshly-laundered shirt. Neatly dressed and with her face washed, Cheru eagerly joins a troop of children on their way to school. Holding hands and skipping, they set out on the 2-kilometer walk.

Cheru’s father, Samson, watches proudly as the children head down the dirt road. He already sees a better future for them. “We’ve had water for a month, and it’s brought us great peace,” he says. “We have time and energy for other things.”

An open door for education

Access to clean water means that Cheru—healthy, clean, and rested—can consistently attend school. Once she arrives at Kesot Primary School, she’s welcomed by head teacher John Dungo, 34.

He’s noticed that with clean water available at the three primary schools along the pipeline, many more students like Cheru are coming regularly—and classes are overflowing. John says that they’re building new classrooms to accommodate the influx in attendance.

When class begins, she’s quick to raise her hand to answer questions and shouts “one, two, three …” when the class counts in English.

“I love school,” Cheru says. Writing and drawing are her favorite subjects.

The three primary schools now have water tanks, standpipes with two spigots, and four latrines each for boys and girls, including a handicapped unit. Outside the latrines are sinks with running water for handwashing. It’s the first year Cheru and her classmates have clean, plentiful water at school. They are also beginning to learn about hygiene and health.

The head teachers of the three primary schools received hygiene training and materials and organized hygiene and sanitation clubs for their students. They also host community meetings where adults can learn about the importance of building and using family toilets and keeping clean.

“Children who know and practice good hygiene are excellent advocates with their parents,” says Clement Limaki, 45, head teacher at nearby Chepolet Primary.

Water flows from the mountaintop

Charles Kakiti, a World Vision water engineer, was discouraged by his first sight of the dry, barren land and struggling people or West Pokot County. The county water department had started a water project here some years back. They tapped a water source and began laying a pipeline. However, the project ran into financial trouble, and the water never flowed.

“It wasn’t easy to get water to this dry place,” says Charles. The road was so bad that it seemed impossible to finish the project. However, when he saw there was plentiful, clean water gushing from a spring in the hills, his attitude changed.

“God has blessed this place with everything that’s needed for people and animals to live a good life,” he says. But it would take organization, cooperation, hard work, and perseverance to bring water down from the mountaintop.

Charles and Abu Lokilimak, a World Vision project manager, began the project in faith and buoyed by prayer. They organized the water committee with five representatives each from Chepolet, Chemwapit, and Kesot—the three communities along the pipeline. Kesot chose Cheru’s father, Samson, as one of their water committee members. The three head teachers are also members of the committee.

Another member, Anna Lokitwol, 36, says she prayed for the water project and for it to be sustainable. “To have this water is a great gift, and we must take care of it. Also, I pray for the people who gave money so we could have water,” she says.

Anna proposed that each family pay 100 shillings (about $1) a month and schools 500 shillings (nearly $5) a month for upkeep to the water system so there will always be money for repairs.

Together, the water committee decided the placement of the kiosks, standpipes, and water troughs. Over 18 months, they dug trenches, carried pipes, and connected them. They hauled cement, carried water for making concrete to build the kiosks, standpipes, water troughs for animals, and latrines at schools. Charles trained six local people to maintain the pipeline and handle repairs.

The day before the water was scheduled to come to the kiosk at Kesot, the end of the pipeline, Abu and Charles double-checked all the connections. They spent a sleepless night trying to doze in the truck— worrying, waiting, and praying that everything would work right the next morning.

Blessings overflow

As morning dawned on the momentous day, Cheru was right up front—eyes bright with amazement as clean water flowed. Then she watched her father fill a glass and drink from it as everyone cheered. “The water we used to drink had sand in it,” she says.

Cheru’s mother recalls the exhilaration surrounding the scene. “That day when the water first came, we ran to our houses and brought jerrycans to fetch the water because we thought the water would get finished,” says Monica. “But seeing the water the next day, I went to my neighbors and I told them: You all come and fetch, and bring your clothes to wash. The water is not getting finished.”

With water close at hand, families can prioritize other critical areas in their lives: health, education, and income. Monica’s mind is brimming with new ideas. She wants to grow a vegetable garden and start a business selling clothes and sugar. Cheru dreams of becoming a doctor.

As a water committee member, Samson’s top priorities are toilets and baths. “This will change everything,” he says. “We have a toilet now. All the water committee members are going to have them, and we’ll see that others do too.”

With his arms around Cheru, Samson praises God for the joy that has come to his family with clean water. “We’re happy. The animals are happy. Even the birds are happy,” he says, breaking into a wide grin.

Rejoicing in God’s bounty

On Sunday, when Cheru hears Pastor Solomon Kapel beating his drum, she excitedly runs to find him. She wants to be the first in line to help him cut flowers and branches to decorate the church before the service begins.

As the congregation gathers, women place jerrycans of water by the door, so anyone can get a drink when they’re thirsty. Then they sprinkle the dirt floor with water, so they won’t kick up dust when they dance and sing.

The church overflows with worshippers, children and adults alike dressed in their best. Cheru loves church. She joins in wholeheartedly to sing, dance, and praise the Lord.

“Water has changed everything here for the better,” says Solomon. “We praise God for it.”

He is deeply moved at the blessings that have come with clean water. Without hesitation, the congregation hauled water and applied a new mud finish to the church exterior. They’re saving money for sacks of cement so they can have a concrete floor. Monica and other mothers want to start a childcare center at the church, Samson says they need to build a latrine, and there’s even talk of building a house for Solomon since he currently lives 7 kilometers (over 4 miles) away.

Solomon says, “Just like in the Bible where he gave his people water from the rock, this water system is a blessing from God.”

When the children’s choir comes forward, Cheru proudly stands in the front row—her clean face beaming. She sings and claps with joy.

For Cheru, it’s a refreshing new day.

The post Awash in hope: Cheru gets clean water appeared first on World Vision.