Why Water?

Water is one of life’s most basic necessities. But 1 in 9 people worldwide live without access to clean water. And sadly, children are the most vulnerable. It’s been estimated that a child dies from water-related disease every 90 seconds. They deserve better. Not only do they deserve better, but we are called to do something about it! Why? Take a look…

1. Dirty water brings sickness and sometimes even kills.

After drinking dirty water, you could be uncomfortable, in pain, or even deathly ill. Most commonly, infected water causes diarrhea. Our kids refer to it as a “running stomach.” In addition to the obvious discomfort, diarrhea keeps people away from school and work, creating an untold loss in time and mental ability. Without improved sanitation facilities, the risk of contaminating others is high. And on top of all that, diarrhea can easily lead to dehydration. The very act of trying to stay hydrated can make children less hydrated.

If it’s not causing diarrhea, dirty water is probably causing something worse. Diseases like typhoid, cholera and dysentery are all transmitted by contaminated water. If gone untreated – and in poor rural areas they most likely will – those diseases will kill you.A little boy crouches by a muddy stream, cupping water in his hands, lifting it up to take a drink.

2. Lack of water wastes potential.

Around the world, people – mostly women and girls – spend an average of six hours per day walking to fetch water. That is time they could spend in school, or at work earning income for their family.

Collectively, children loose as many as 443 million school days every year because the only water they have to drink makes them sick.

Sadly, a lack of sanitation facilities at schools often prevents young girls from staying in school. In developing countries, many girls stop attending school when they’re on their period because their classrooms lack the facilities they need. Some girls drop out of school all together when they hit puberty, because their erratic attendance isn’t enough to keep up.

And on top of all that, the money each family spends on medicine when they’re infected by water-related diseases is desperately needed for food, housing and school fees instead.

That all adds up to an astonishing waste of human resources and potential. Imagine the leap forward in development if every child stayed in school, if parents stopped losing work time to illness, if hours of walking for water turned into hours of investing in entrepreneurial pursuits. Give them clean water access and you won’t have to imagine it anymore – it will be happening right in front of you!

Two kids in school uniforms wash their hands under the faucet at the bottom of a large water tank. Both are twisting sideways to smile at the camera behind them.

3. Providing water for those in need follows Jesus’ example.

Most importantly, as Christians it is our calling to provide water for the thirsty. Jesus tells us in Matthew that providing water for those in need is the same as providing water for Him. “I was thirsty and you gave me drink.”(Matthew 25:35) And with effective clean water solutions at our fingertips, we can’t afford not to!

The really exciting thing is that all our clean water projects are accomplished through partnerships with local churches! That means that alongside life’s most basic necessity, recipients are being introduced to the Living Water too! And as the provider of essential services, the voices of local congregations are amplified within each community. By working with local churches to deliver clean water to those in need, we’re empowering them to be the hands and feet of Jesus!Standing sideways to the camera, a boy in a blue plaid shuka holds a glass of clean water with a big grin on his face.

4. Providing clean water is one of the best ways we can make a tangible difference!

Our water solutions are long-term and perfect for each community we serve. These are places where we work consistently. We know exactly the needs and challenges of each place, and can provide water solutions that are both appropriate and effective in that context.

Household water filters, our newest clean water solution, takes even the dirtiest water and turns it into clear, refreshing drinking water. The power of gravity combined with a simple charcoal filter core that lasts a long time and is cheap to replace when needed, makes these household filters powerful life-saving machines. And as Stephen, one of our first filter recipients, tells us, the water “tastes so much better than the water from the river.”

Our water catchment systems store up to 2,000 gallons of rainwater. Free of the contaminants that infect groundwater, rainwater is much better for you. And during a dry spell, the massive storage capacity goes a long way towards a community’s survival. But most importantly, each water tank is built at a local church, close to people’s homes. Catchment systems save women and girls from the long, backbreaking, dangerous daily walks to fetch water – instead, they now have a water source often just steps from their homes!

Put these solutions together along with WaSH (water, sanitation and hygiene) training, and we can solve the water crisis, one village at a time.

If we can make such a difference, why don’t we!?A little girl kneels in front of blue 5-gallon bucket that has a water tap in the bottom of it. She's holding a glass under the tap and smiles as her cup fills with clear, clean water.

Childcare Worldwide is grateful to partner with generous people all over the world to build a better life for kids in need. If you’re interested in providing clean water for children in need, click here.

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