Sparked by their reading of Long Walk to Water for the Oregon Battle of the Books, this year students at Horizon Christian School in Tualatin have been learning about the need for access to safe water in rural Africa. WaterAfrica Board Member and Horizon teacher Margaret Hanscom was featured in the Lake Oswego Review last month for her work to organize a variety of opportunities for students to explore and expand their understandings.
The study culminated this week in several high-interest interactive experiences. On Tuesday students engaged in small group presentations to learn about the elements of sanitation and hygiene which World Vision uses in its Water Program to ensure that clean water stays clean.
On Wednesday morning Chikondi Phiri, World Vision Zambia’s Deputy National Director spoke to the students at a school wide assembly, telling them stories about individual students whose lives have been transformed by access to clean water alongside good sanitation and hygiene.
At the end of his presentation, Chikondi fielded many excellent questions from the Horizon students:
…. Do you have warm water for your showers?
How long does take to make a well?
How you get soap?
Do you hurt your feet when you walk to the water pits? …..
After the assembly students went outside for their own Walk4Water! The sun was shining as students walked laps carrying buckets of water to simulate the experience of rural Africans collecting dirty water for their daily use.
We look forward to walking with many of these students and their families this Saturday morning at Walk4Water9!
Chikondi Phiri will join us for Walk4Water9! Chikondi is Deputy National Director for World Vision Zambia and he brings a wealth of experience and insight to share with us on April 23.
The WaterAfrica 2015 Travel Team got to meet with Chikondi while in Zambia last summer and now we look forward to welcoming him to Lake Oswego and introducing him to you this month!
Chikondi has served World Vision for 20 years in a variety of roles including Project Coordinator, Area Development Program (ADP) Manager, Planning and Resource Development Manager, Regional Operations Manager and Operations Director; providing overall leadership to field operations and sectoral technical teams. He holds an MBA in Leadership Development from Eastern University (USA); a Masters of Science in Agricultural Engineering from Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania); and a Bachelors of Engineering in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Zambia.
Chikondi is a gifted speaker with a deep passion for the children of Southern Africa. You will be encouraged and challenged by his stories about the transformational power of accessible clean water in rural Zambia. Please Join Us April 23!
WaterAfrica seeks a student interested in research and grant writing experience who is passionate about water, sanitation and hygiene issues in the developing world. This volunteer position is an opportunity for college credit with flexible schedule and hours.
We were repeatedly impressed with the ingenuity, resourcefulness and resiliency of the women we met on WaterAfrica’s Zambia 2012 trip. Again and again we saw examples of villagers building on a WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) element not only to improve its function, but often to also add aesthetic value to its design. We visited a village primarily led by women. Clean water had not yet come to their community but they had already implemented sanitation and hygiene skills they learned from neighboring villages. Listening, learning and changing in order to bring health and opportunity to their village, these women were determined, creative and resourceful. Inspired by designs they’d seen printed on their chitenge skirts they even painted their buildings – including the latrines both inside and out! And they did NOT stop at Home Depot for paint!!!
What would these amazing women accomplish if they didn’t have to spend their time collecting unsafe water for their daily needs??
At the recent Hope2Opportunity event presented by Columbia-Willamette Chapter of Women of Vision, Kari Constanza, World Vision Journalist/Reporter spoke about her WASH related travels with World Vision. You can watch Kari’s short film Walking In Sabina’s Shoes, online here and see Kari join a Kenyan lady named Sabina on her daily trek to water. In the film Kari tells us that 3 years earlier Sabina had visited someone who lived in a community with a spring fed source bringing water right to her own property and when it was time for Sabina to go home she lamented the return to her personal plight of walking hours for water each day.
After the film ends, the story turns joyful when a water project in Sabina’s region brought water to her village and a spigot to her own backyard! A year after Kari walked with Sabina, Angela Schug, World Vision Marketing, visited her and wrote about it in this blog post. Check it out and you can see a picture of Sabina by her backyard water spigot! Angela also spoke at Hope2Opportunity and told how she took World Vision magazines to show Sabina that she’d been featured in stories, but Sabina couldn’t read the words. Because her days had always been spent fetching water she’d been unable to get an education! What would these women do if they had more time??
By supporting World Vision’s WASH program in Zambia, WaterAfrica helps to create more time for these women. The ZWASH program empowers the villagers and opens the door to hope and possibility. While we were in Zambia last summer WaterAfrica’s travel team met with a group of women who had a brand new borehole with clean, safe water just moments from their homes. You can see more about our visit here. For years these women walked the 1-hour round trip to their dirty water source, 3- 5 times each day! Now their lives had radically changed. Please take 30 seconds to watch the clip below. You will see a tremendous grin of gratitude and you will hear hope in answer to the question: What will you do with your time??
(if you’re reading this through your email subscription you need to click through to WaterAfrica’s website to watch the video)
Today is International Women’s Day and we celebrate the many women and girls we have met in rural Zambian villages. Their hopes and dreams are stuck in the realities of living without sanitation and hygiene resources and lacking accessible, safe water. Their stories inspire us to stay diligent and focused in our efforts to bring life-changing resources to their communities, thus giving their hopes and dreams opportunities to thrive.
What would these women do if they had more time? What would their daughters do??
As you consider ways you might respond on this International Women’s Day we invite you to help WaterAfrica create more time for these women and girls by supporting World Vision’s WASH program in Zambia.
The WaterAfrica Travel team safely arrived in Lusaka, Zambia this week. Today we began our trip agenda with a meeting at World Vision Zambia’s national headquarters.
|(left to right: Ann Chilcote, Diane Savage, Bill Savage,
Alan Shiffer, Mike Veitenhans)
|WaterAfrica Day Proclamation on left|
One of the remarkable stories coming from WaterAfrica’s annual Walk4Water is the ever increasing youth involvement. This year we DOUBLED the number of area schools represented by student participants and volunteers. We are so grateful for the vision, energy and generosity these young people bring to our event.
It is important to note the transformative impact of our youth as they participate in and share the WaterAfrica story. Even as our youth expand our reach and help to shape our message, we hear parallel stories from Zambia about their youth stepping into transformative community roles to bring life-changing, life-giving vision and energy.
WaterAfrica closely follows World Vision’s Water, Sanitation & Hygiene work particularly in southern Zambia, but we recently received this report from a new World Vision Area Development project in northern Zambia. The story is representative of World Vision’s ZWASH work and illustrates the life-giving impact of your WaterAfrica donations:
Mwamba ADP in northern Zambia, is a new World Vision ADP. The ADP community leaders have learned the importance of implementing all three components of the WASH program – clean water, sanitation and hygiene together.
ZWASH has provided leadership and resources for the construction of six Ventilation Improved Pit Latrines (VIP) and hand washing facilities at Misamfu Basic School. There are 1013 students at the school….To make sure the message of good hygiene becomes a part of the children’s daily life, World Vision ZWASH assisted the school to set up a WASH club, with an initial 20 members, who in turn teach their friends the importance of drinking clean, safe water from the school borehole, and also consistent hand washing before eating.
One of the students, Bernard Mugala, in ninth grade said, “I have learned a lot from the WASH club, and now I’m teaching my friends on the importance of washing their hands before they eat anything because that can help prevent diarrhea.” He continued, “I have also taught my parents back in the village to practice hand-washing. We have placed a container outside our latrine and we have everyone wash their hands from it and then fill it with fresh water when it gets empty.” Bernard explained that his parents were now also teaching their friends and neighbors in the village to wash their hands to avoid getting sick. The message continues to spread.
Another member of the club, Katongo Malama, is in the eighth grade. Katongo said she is happy to be a member of the club because now she has answers to questions people ask. “Before I could tell people to wash their hands as a good hygiene practice, but I didn’t really know why this was important. When someone asked me why, I didn’t know the answer and would end up feeling embarrassed. This is no longer the case.”
Luswepo Suza, an eleven year old member of the club said she particularly enjoys telling people to make sure they have a container of water for washing hands. She feels proud every time she walks through her village and sees how many homes now have a designated container for washing hands.
Mwamba ADP recognizes what powerful change agents they have in their schoolchildren and intend to introduce similar clubs elsewhere in the ADP.
Walk4Water5 leadership agrees! Transformative power comes to life when we educate and nurture the vision and energy of the young people in our midst. It is a privilege to work alongside our youth leaders to bring life-changing resources to Zambian youth leaders.
Sunday afternoon after Walk4Water5 Bill Savage, WaterAfrica President & Founder, and Fred Mazumba, World Vision Zambia ADP Manager, sat down to discuss a variety of WASH-related topics.
But what did Fred think of W4W5? We invite you to listen in……
We are just beginning to unpack the remarkable stories embedded in Walk4Water5. We hope you’ll continue to check this blog. If you’d like to receive the blog posts by email you can enter your email address in the box at the top right of the page.*
There is still time to make a donation to help us meet our Walk4Water5 fundraising goal of $50,000 – providing WASH for 1,000 Zambians. You can Donate Here.
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Last year Lake Oswego High School student Field Hubbell organized an effort in her Ceramics class to get her fellow artists to create and donate water pitchers to sell at Walk4Water4. As a senior this year, Field repeated the effort. With the support of LOHS ceramics instructor, Steve Schiefelbein, Field and her peers are bringing 24 pitchers to sell tomorrow morning at Walk4Water5. 100% of the purchase price will be given to ZWASH.
Not only is this a remarkable gift from these high school artists, but it was also an educational experience. Mr. Schiefelbein showed the WaterAfrica educational video to several of his classes. Nearly 130 students learned about Zambia and the need for access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
We are humbled by the gift these students offer as they share their artistic talents. Please take time to see their pitchers, and be sure to thank them!
**Don’t forget! Mother’s Day is May 13! Come prepared to take home a beautiful gift AND change lives in Zambia. Claire Murray and Bob & Sheri Kilpatrick will also have items for purchase. 100% of your purchase price with any of these vendors will be given to World Vision’s ZWASH projects. (Credit Cards will be accepted)