give clean water.

Posted on December 15, 2010


it was hot that day.

i sat outside the church with adah and rose, their laughter ricocheting off the steel walls of the school. i was showing them pictures of russ’ cooking from my iPhone and they were tickled that a man did the cooking in my household.

my mind was elsewhere.

on the way up the hill, i noticed a woman doing laundry. nothing too out of the ordinary, except the water she was using.

it was dirty….no, it was filthy.

she sat there confidently, immersing each piece of cloth in the tiny stream running through the slum. the same stream i saw little kids use the restroom. the same stream i saw animals walk around and drink out of, bathe and rest. the same stream that stained my tennis burnt colors of browns and yellows.

the same stream most of these people in kibera got their water. 

i started talking to rose & adah about the water issue. i asked where they got their water – and they told me they fetched it every night. i asked where. eyes wide, they told me it was far enough to take a few hours – and sometimes this put them home after dark.

my heart flinched at the thought of these two precious girls walking the streets of kibera at night.

i asked if it were easier to just get water from kibera, and they nodded their heads. there are cleaner water stations – but those are sometimes too far. most often, the girls are required to fetch water after returning from school. most often, these girls are raped or beaten on the road. sometimes there’s no water left when they reach the well.

this seems serious. and it’s really easy to close our eyes and focus only on what we see and hear now. i have a glass of clean water in front of me. i only need to walk down the hall and get ice out of a filtered machine and fill my cup with water from a brita. my own hypocrisy is burdensome.

i’m close to tears just thinking about it. the injustice can be gripping at times – i complain about the temperature of my clean water. i complain about the taste of my clean water. i live in a society where companies design water bottles made of diamonds…and then fill the bottle with clean water.

something needs to be done.

the truth: americans will spend 450 billion dollars on christmas gifts this year.

it only takes 10 billion to provide the world with clean water.

our excess means their need.

today, we can change this.

a couple months ago, my friend Prudence contacted me about an idea. she wanted to blog for water – and i thought it was brilliant. water is something we all use – and any donation can be significant in the lives of those who don’t have access to clean water. reading her e-mail, i couldn’t help but think of my girls in the slum. the same time i’m walking down a lit hallway towards filtered water, they are braving the sun sinking below the horizon before they return from their daily walk for water.

a little can go a really long way.

you can give water – clean water – for Christmas.

will you join us?

go here to donate. what’s amazing about charity:water is that 100% of your donations goes directly to building a well in a community with no access to clean water. AND…charity:water works with the community – training them to be as sustainable as possible – which ensures the longevity of the project.

want to help spread the word? use the hashtag #PrudyChickH20 on twitter.

my dream: walking the hills of kibera and seeing the women experience what it’s like to use clean water for their daily chores. it may be farfetched. but i like to believe in the impossible.


want to check out the other ladies writing with me today?


Jenny Rain

Amy Sullivan

Mary Hess

Laura Leigh Parker

Kim Whitten

Posted in: Africa, Compassion