Aymo Sositi Village
Water Project

Project Completed

December 11, 2018

Village Water Project

Aymo Sositi, Ethiopia, Africa

GPS: 6.5653, 38.8753

329 people

Status: Water Is Flowing

  • Story
  • Updates 8
  • Plan
  • FAQ's
April 2019

Clean Water, New Life: Birtukan’s Story

When we met Birtukan in October of 2018, she was walking to a muddy spring three times a day to fill her container with contaminated drinking water. She was overburdened, and her two children were very sick.

Today, Birtukan and her husband, Tariku, look back on those times as the most difficult years of their lives. Their family and all of Aymo Sositi village drinks safe water now.

“Our community is drinking safe water, and we are preserved from disease,” Tariku said. “Our children regularly go to school.”

In rural Ethiopia, this consistent school attendance is rare. Children, whose immune systems are still developing, are especially vulnerable to the impact of unsafe water. It’s not uncommon to miss school or drop out entirely because of frequent illness or long walks for water.

Birtukan herself was never able to finish school. When we met her over a year ago, she said her greatest dream was to continue her education.

“I want to… join a university, study food science, and become a restaurant owner,” she said.

Since receiving safe water, Birtukan has started breeding hens, and she no longer spends hours each day walking to the spring for unsafe water. With more saved income, she can pursue her dreams.

In rural communities like Aymo Sositi, unsafe water causes a chaotic life. With the almost constant travel to and from unsafe water sources, sick children, and a lack of basic sanitation and hygiene, mothers, in particular, are extremely overburdened.

“I haven’t forgotten what it was like to search all day for water,” Birtukan said. “Now we have a peaceful life.”

“Water is important for human beings” she added. “Thank you Lifewater for sending it.”

With safe water and sanitation practices, families like Birtukan’s are transformed. You can be a part of a transformation story. Support a village water project today, and follow along to see your impact.

 


October 2018

Life in Aymo Sositi: Birtukan’s Story

When 21-year-old Birtukan Monta rises in the morning, she slips her sandals on and begins her first walk to the village spring, a relatively short walk, but one she’ll repeat three times that day.

Birtukan married Taiku when she was 14 years old, and she never had the opportunity to finish elementary school. The young mother of two cites her young marriage and unsafe water as the two biggest challenges in her life.

The drinking water in Aymo Sositi village collects in a puddle sectioned off from the rest of the water by stones and pieces of wood.

When Birtukan and her children drink the water, they become frequently sick from diarrheal disease, the second leading cause of death in children under five, and one entirely preventable with safe water and sanitation.

“I will never give up in my life to challenges, but the major one is lack of safe water in the village,” she said.

Gathering water is a burden that falls primarily on women in Aymo Sositi village and most of rural Ethiopia. Costly treatment for waterborne illnesses causes financial strain for families already struggling to make ends meet.

“The most difficult situation in the society is the workload on mothers, because males are not responsible for food preparation or cleaning at home,” she said. “And no matter how sick she is, she has to prepare food for the family.”

Despite her ever-increasing workload and the burden of unsafe water, Birtukan has hopes and dreams.

“In the future I want to continue my education to join a university, study food science, and become a restaurant owner,” she said.

When mothers can save time and money, they can become educated. Educated parents can send their children to school and make a way out of poverty.

You can help Birtukan and others is Aymo Sositi village today. Your gift will provide health training for each household, plus a new, safe water source near their village.

Lasting change means more than just building a well. Local Lifewater staff will work house by house to teach healthy habits and share the love of Christ with everyone.

Here’s what happens when you sponsor a village water project through Lifewater:

Partner with a village. Your gift kickstarts a community water project.
Teach healthy habits. Small changes make a big impact on family health.
Build a well. The village contributes up to 15% for construction.
Measure impact. Local staff track success and provide support.
Engage the church. We equip local churches to love their community.

Sponsor Aymo Sositi village today.

February 1, 2019: Certified Healthy Village

Great news! Aymo Sositi is now a certified Healthy Village. That means the safe water source is complete and more than 90% of the community’s homes are healthy.

December 11, 2018: Construction complete

The new safe water source is now complete in Aymo Sositi!

Clean, safe water transforms a village. Everyone gathers to celebrate, thanking God for the miracle in their community.

October 31, 2018: Construction started

Work is officially underway to build a safe water source for Aymo Sositi. Our local teams are using technology appropriate to the region and geography to ensure the new water source is sustainable.

October 28, 2018: Community Prerequisites met

Aymo Sositi has completed all of the prerequisites for building a safe water source: There are already a number of Healthy Homes and an active water committee, plus the 15% community contribution is in place.

The next step is to build a safe water source. As soon as weather and scheduling allows, construction will begin on a new water source for the community.

October 18, 2018: Water Committee formed

Good news! Aymo Sositi has selected water committee members to manage the new village water source.

Forming a water committee is a key step toward establishing a safe water source in a village. Committees are made up of local men and women who manage the well and collect fees, ensuring the community’s investment lasts for generations to come.

October 5, 2018: Village Certified ODF

When each household builds and uses their own functioning restroom, a community earns an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) certification. Each country has their own processes and celebration for ODF villages, and it’s a huge accomplishment towards improved health for everyone.

May 12, 2018: CLTS Complete

In Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), each village goes through exercises that reveal how their current practices are making them sick, such as identifying all the places where feces are contaminating their environment. This important step equips communities to be knowledgeable about their health and willing to make changes.

May 2018: Project Ready

Aymo Sositi is in a very remote region of Ethiopia

View Interactive Map

This village is on its way to becoming a Healthy Village. The process takes approximately 24 months from start to finish. You can follow along with the progress below.

Here’s the Plan for Aymo Sositi:

Pro-Tip! If the timeline is blue, that means Aymo Sositi has reached this milestone! If it's gray, they are working towards that step next.

ready

Project Ready

Villages are carefully selected by Lifewater staff and wait for program work to begin in their area.

CLTS

In Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), each village goes through exercises that reveal how their current practices are making them sick, such as identifying all the places where feces are contaminating their environment. This important step equips communities to be knowledgeable about their health and willing to make changes.

clts
healthy-homes-registered

Healthy Homes Registered

A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

ODF

When each household builds and uses their own functioning restroom, a community earns an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) certification. Each country has their own processes and celebration for ODF villages, and it’s a huge accomplishment towards improved health for everyone.

odf
wc_schoolmc_formed

Water Committee Selected

Aymo Sositi has selected water committee members to manage the safe village water source. Forming a water committee is a key step toward establishing a safe water source in a village. Committees are made up of local men and women who manage the well and collect fees, ensuring the community’s investment lasts for generations to come.

Construction Started

Work is officially underway to build a new water source for Aymo Sositi village. Our local teams are using technology appropriate to the region and geography to ensure the new water source is sustainable.

construction_start
construction_complete

Village Has Safe Water Source

The new safe water source is now complete!

Clean, safe water transforms a village. Everyone gathers to celebrate, thanking God for the miracle in their community. 

Healthy Village

Great news! Aymo Sositi is now a certified Healthy Village. That means the safe water source is complete and more than 90% of the community’s homes are healthy. That is a new future for 329 children and families.

healthy_village_achieved

Village Water Project FAQs

What is included in the cost of a water project?

When you sponsor a village water project, you are helping bring lasting change. Your gift provides:

  • House-to-house hygiene and sanitation education
  • Custom engineered water source
  • Construction of a safe water source
  • Community engagement by Lifewater field staff to ensure change lasts

Lifewater also provides:

  • Monitoring and evaluation of the project with real-time updates to donors
  • Local church partnerships that equip the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus
  • Five-year water source maintenance and sustainability (funded by beneficiary communities on a volunteer basis)
Is this a real village? Am I impacting this actual village?

Yes! The village you are helping is a real village. All families photographed or shared from the project page have given their permission to have their information shared with you.

Can I visit programs and/or my sponsored water project?

Lifewater has local staff that live and serve among the communities and schools where Lifewater works. Our staff know the language and the culture and are best equipped to serve communities. Because we seek to ensure sustainable water projects and community buy in, we do not allow donors to visit the projects they sponsor. However, we do commit to sending real-time updates, photos, and stories from the projects themselves.

Where does Lifewater work?

With more than 40 years’ experience, LIfewater is the longest-running Christian clean water charity in North America. Over those 40 years, Lifewater has worked in more than 45 different countries. Currently, our work is focused in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia).

Why these countries and regions?

Lifewater identifies countries and regions that are unreached and underserved with basic water access and sanitation, which means we focus on areas where other organizations are not serving. 

Although great strides have been made in the past 20 years to solve the global water crisis, remote and rural populations still remain unreached with adequate water and sanitation. These distant regions are difficult and often costly for governments and NGOs to serve well. Many of these communities feel as though they have been forgotten.

Can I request a water project in a specific country?

Currently, Lifewater has programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Cambodia. You can go to lifewater.org/projects to select a specific water project to help. Because our programs are regionalized and made in partnership with the local governments, we are not able to take requests for specific water projects outside of our existing programs.

What percent of funds go towards programs?

Lifewater budgets 80% of expenditures for programs. The remaining 20% is split between administrative/management and fundraising expenses. This ratio is best in class for nonprofits and is why Lifewater has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator.

Administrative/management expenses are used to ensure that we are effective in managing the funds entrusted to us and include the following types of expenses: accounting personnel, leadership time, professional development of staff, external auditors, legal counsel, government registration expenses in every U.S. state, credit card fees for processing donations, bank fees, database maintenance, and office expenses.

Fundraising expenses generate the income needed to do the work that we set out to do. These include the cost of direct mail appeals and communication, marketing projects, donor relations personnel, and email communication systems. Last year, every dollar invested into Lifewater fundraising efforts resulted in $10 of donation for the organization. 

Is Lifewater approved/vetted by 3rd party organizations?

Over our 40 year history, Lifewater has received the highest accreditations from the most respected rating organization in the industry. Lifewater is recognized as one of the top-rated charities in the United States by independent reporting organizations, including:

  • Charity Navigator (four stars)
  • Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)
  • Guidestar (Platinum)
  • Great Nonprofits (five star)
  • Excellence in Giving

Learn more at https://lifewater.org/top-rated-charity.

How does Lifewater integrate faith into its work?

Lifewater’s work is founded on the belief that every person is made in the image of God. It is with this conviction that we seek out the globe’s most unreached, marginalized people groups in need of safe water. 

Both nationally and internationally, 100 percent of our staff are Christians. These Christian staff help facilitate Lifewater’s Healthy Church strategy in communities. And, where there are no churches, we work with church planting partners to start new churches. 

To create Healthy Churches, Lifewater first trains church leaders in foundational theology. These leaders are equipped with the basic story of the Christian faith and the biblical mandate to love others. Leaders learn that stopping the spread of disease and caring for the vulnerable aligns with our responsibility as Christians to love our neighbor. 

Second, Lifewater ensures churches have safe bathrooms on their premises, handwashing stations, clean water nearby, and the education to promote health within their congregations. It’s imperative that churches are early adopters of healthy hygiene practices. 

Third, Lifewater encourages churches to help vulnerable households become Healthy Homes. Church leaders undergo a training to become WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) advocates in their communities. These advocates are encouraged to identify widows, child-headed households, the elderly, and the disabled to help them meet the health standards of Lifewater’s programs.

What is Lifewater’s process? What does the organization do, and how does it do it?

Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village strategy is a relationship-first method. This model transforms entire regions house by house, village by village, and school by school. It is among the most intensive household-level work happening in the entire developing world and is closely tracked for progress, sustainability, and overall impact.

We construct custom-engineered safe water sources and teach life-saving health and sanitation practices in local villages and schools in need.

Story

April 2019

Clean Water, New Life: Birtukan’s Story

When we met Birtukan in October of 2018, she was walking to a muddy spring three times a day to fill her container with contaminated drinking water. She was overburdened, and her two children were very sick.

Today, Birtukan and her husband, Tariku, look back on those times as the most difficult years of their lives. Their family and all of Aymo Sositi village drinks safe water now.

“Our community is drinking safe water, and we are preserved from disease,” Tariku said. “Our children regularly go to school.”

In rural Ethiopia, this consistent school attendance is rare. Children, whose immune systems are still developing, are especially vulnerable to the impact of unsafe water. It’s not uncommon to miss school or drop out entirely because of frequent illness or long walks for water.

Birtukan herself was never able to finish school. When we met her over a year ago, she said her greatest dream was to continue her education.

“I want to… join a university, study food science, and become a restaurant owner,” she said.

Since receiving safe water, Birtukan has started breeding hens, and she no longer spends hours each day walking to the spring for unsafe water. With more saved income, she can pursue her dreams.

In rural communities like Aymo Sositi, unsafe water causes a chaotic life. With the almost constant travel to and from unsafe water sources, sick children, and a lack of basic sanitation and hygiene, mothers, in particular, are extremely overburdened.

“I haven’t forgotten what it was like to search all day for water,” Birtukan said. “Now we have a peaceful life.”

“Water is important for human beings” she added. “Thank you Lifewater for sending it.”

With safe water and sanitation practices, families like Birtukan’s are transformed. You can be a part of a transformation story. Support a village water project today, and follow along to see your impact.

 


October 2018

Life in Aymo Sositi: Birtukan’s Story

When 21-year-old Birtukan Monta rises in the morning, she slips her sandals on and begins her first walk to the village spring, a relatively short walk, but one she’ll repeat three times that day.

Birtukan married Taiku when she was 14 years old, and she never had the opportunity to finish elementary school. The young mother of two cites her young marriage and unsafe water as the two biggest challenges in her life.

The drinking water in Aymo Sositi village collects in a puddle sectioned off from the rest of the water by stones and pieces of wood.

When Birtukan and her children drink the water, they become frequently sick from diarrheal disease, the second leading cause of death in children under five, and one entirely preventable with safe water and sanitation.

“I will never give up in my life to challenges, but the major one is lack of safe water in the village,” she said.

Gathering water is a burden that falls primarily on women in Aymo Sositi village and most of rural Ethiopia. Costly treatment for waterborne illnesses causes financial strain for families already struggling to make ends meet.

“The most difficult situation in the society is the workload on mothers, because males are not responsible for food preparation or cleaning at home,” she said. “And no matter how sick she is, she has to prepare food for the family.”

Despite her ever-increasing workload and the burden of unsafe water, Birtukan has hopes and dreams.

“In the future I want to continue my education to join a university, study food science, and become a restaurant owner,” she said.

When mothers can save time and money, they can become educated. Educated parents can send their children to school and make a way out of poverty.

You can help Birtukan and others is Aymo Sositi village today. Your gift will provide health training for each household, plus a new, safe water source near their village.

Lasting change means more than just building a well. Local Lifewater staff will work house by house to teach healthy habits and share the love of Christ with everyone.

Here’s what happens when you sponsor a village water project through Lifewater:

Partner with a village. Your gift kickstarts a community water project.
Teach healthy habits. Small changes make a big impact on family health.
Build a well. The village contributes up to 15% for construction.
Measure impact. Local staff track success and provide support.
Engage the church. We equip local churches to love their community.

Sponsor Aymo Sositi village today.

Updates

February 1, 2019: Certified Healthy Village

Great news! Aymo Sositi is now a certified Healthy Village. That means the safe water source is complete and more than 90% of the community’s homes are healthy.

December 11, 2018: Construction complete

The new safe water source is now complete in Aymo Sositi!

Clean, safe water transforms a village. Everyone gathers to celebrate, thanking God for the miracle in their community.

October 31, 2018: Construction started

Work is officially underway to build a safe water source for Aymo Sositi. Our local teams are using technology appropriate to the region and geography to ensure the new water source is sustainable.

October 28, 2018: Community Prerequisites met

Aymo Sositi has completed all of the prerequisites for building a safe water source: There are already a number of Healthy Homes and an active water committee, plus the 15% community contribution is in place.

The next step is to build a safe water source. As soon as weather and scheduling allows, construction will begin on a new water source for the community.

October 18, 2018: Water Committee formed

Good news! Aymo Sositi has selected water committee members to manage the new village water source.

Forming a water committee is a key step toward establishing a safe water source in a village. Committees are made up of local men and women who manage the well and collect fees, ensuring the community’s investment lasts for generations to come.

October 5, 2018: Village Certified ODF

When each household builds and uses their own functioning restroom, a community earns an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) certification. Each country has their own processes and celebration for ODF villages, and it’s a huge accomplishment towards improved health for everyone.

May 12, 2018: CLTS Complete

In Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), each village goes through exercises that reveal how their current practices are making them sick, such as identifying all the places where feces are contaminating their environment. This important step equips communities to be knowledgeable about their health and willing to make changes.

May 2018: Project Ready

Plan

Aymo Sositi is in a very remote region of Ethiopia

View Interactive Map

This village is on its way to becoming a Healthy Village. The process takes approximately 24 months from start to finish. You can follow along with the progress below.

Here’s the Plan for Aymo Sositi:

Pro-Tip! If the timeline is blue, that means Aymo Sositi has reached this milestone! If it's gray, they are working towards that step next.

ready

Project Ready

Villages are carefully selected by Lifewater staff and wait for program work to begin in their area.

CLTS

In Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), each village goes through exercises that reveal how their current practices are making them sick, such as identifying all the places where feces are contaminating their environment. This important step equips communities to be knowledgeable about their health and willing to make changes.

clts
healthy-homes-registered

Healthy Homes Registered

A home is certified healthy when a family has adopted five healthy habits: washing hands with soap and water, storing and using water safely, building and using a bathroom with a roof and door, using a drying rack to keep dishes off the ground, and keeping the area around the home safe and clean.

ODF

When each household builds and uses their own functioning restroom, a community earns an “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) certification. Each country has their own processes and celebration for ODF villages, and it’s a huge accomplishment towards improved health for everyone.

odf
wc_schoolmc_formed

Water Committee Selected

Aymo Sositi has selected water committee members to manage the safe village water source. Forming a water committee is a key step toward establishing a safe water source in a village. Committees are made up of local men and women who manage the well and collect fees, ensuring the community’s investment lasts for generations to come.

Construction Started

Work is officially underway to build a new water source for Aymo Sositi village. Our local teams are using technology appropriate to the region and geography to ensure the new water source is sustainable.

construction_start
construction_complete

Village Has Safe Water Source

The new safe water source is now complete!

Clean, safe water transforms a village. Everyone gathers to celebrate, thanking God for the miracle in their community. 

Healthy Village

Great news! Aymo Sositi is now a certified Healthy Village. That means the safe water source is complete and more than 90% of the community’s homes are healthy. That is a new future for 329 children and families.

healthy_village_achieved

FAQ's

Village Water Project FAQs

What is included in the cost of a water project?

When you sponsor a village water project, you are helping bring lasting change. Your gift provides:

  • House-to-house hygiene and sanitation education
  • Custom engineered water source
  • Construction of a safe water source
  • Community engagement by Lifewater field staff to ensure change lasts

Lifewater also provides:

  • Monitoring and evaluation of the project with real-time updates to donors
  • Local church partnerships that equip the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus
  • Five-year water source maintenance and sustainability (funded by beneficiary communities on a volunteer basis)
Is this a real village? Am I impacting this actual village?

Yes! The village you are helping is a real village. All families photographed or shared from the project page have given their permission to have their information shared with you.

Can I visit programs and/or my sponsored water project?

Lifewater has local staff that live and serve among the communities and schools where Lifewater works. Our staff know the language and the culture and are best equipped to serve communities. Because we seek to ensure sustainable water projects and community buy in, we do not allow donors to visit the projects they sponsor. However, we do commit to sending real-time updates, photos, and stories from the projects themselves.

Where does Lifewater work?

With more than 40 years’ experience, LIfewater is the longest-running Christian clean water charity in North America. Over those 40 years, Lifewater has worked in more than 45 different countries. Currently, our work is focused in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia).

Why these countries and regions?

Lifewater identifies countries and regions that are unreached and underserved with basic water access and sanitation, which means we focus on areas where other organizations are not serving. 

Although great strides have been made in the past 20 years to solve the global water crisis, remote and rural populations still remain unreached with adequate water and sanitation. These distant regions are difficult and often costly for governments and NGOs to serve well. Many of these communities feel as though they have been forgotten.

Can I request a water project in a specific country?

Currently, Lifewater has programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Cambodia. You can go to lifewater.org/projects to select a specific water project to help. Because our programs are regionalized and made in partnership with the local governments, we are not able to take requests for specific water projects outside of our existing programs.

What percent of funds go towards programs?

Lifewater budgets 80% of expenditures for programs. The remaining 20% is split between administrative/management and fundraising expenses. This ratio is best in class for nonprofits and is why Lifewater has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator.

Administrative/management expenses are used to ensure that we are effective in managing the funds entrusted to us and include the following types of expenses: accounting personnel, leadership time, professional development of staff, external auditors, legal counsel, government registration expenses in every U.S. state, credit card fees for processing donations, bank fees, database maintenance, and office expenses.

Fundraising expenses generate the income needed to do the work that we set out to do. These include the cost of direct mail appeals and communication, marketing projects, donor relations personnel, and email communication systems. Last year, every dollar invested into Lifewater fundraising efforts resulted in $10 of donation for the organization. 

Is Lifewater approved/vetted by 3rd party organizations?

Over our 40 year history, Lifewater has received the highest accreditations from the most respected rating organization in the industry. Lifewater is recognized as one of the top-rated charities in the United States by independent reporting organizations, including:

  • Charity Navigator (four stars)
  • Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)
  • Guidestar (Platinum)
  • Great Nonprofits (five star)
  • Excellence in Giving

Learn more at https://lifewater.org/top-rated-charity.

How does Lifewater integrate faith into its work?

Lifewater’s work is founded on the belief that every person is made in the image of God. It is with this conviction that we seek out the globe’s most unreached, marginalized people groups in need of safe water. 

Both nationally and internationally, 100 percent of our staff are Christians. These Christian staff help facilitate Lifewater’s Healthy Church strategy in communities. And, where there are no churches, we work with church planting partners to start new churches. 

To create Healthy Churches, Lifewater first trains church leaders in foundational theology. These leaders are equipped with the basic story of the Christian faith and the biblical mandate to love others. Leaders learn that stopping the spread of disease and caring for the vulnerable aligns with our responsibility as Christians to love our neighbor. 

Second, Lifewater ensures churches have safe bathrooms on their premises, handwashing stations, clean water nearby, and the education to promote health within their congregations. It’s imperative that churches are early adopters of healthy hygiene practices. 

Third, Lifewater encourages churches to help vulnerable households become Healthy Homes. Church leaders undergo a training to become WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) advocates in their communities. These advocates are encouraged to identify widows, child-headed households, the elderly, and the disabled to help them meet the health standards of Lifewater’s programs.

What is Lifewater’s process? What does the organization do, and how does it do it?

Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village strategy is a relationship-first method. This model transforms entire regions house by house, village by village, and school by school. It is among the most intensive household-level work happening in the entire developing world and is closely tracked for progress, sustainability, and overall impact.

We construct custom-engineered safe water sources and teach life-saving health and sanitation practices in local villages and schools in need.

Your donation is restricted for use within the program region for which the water project is located. Project cost estimates are established from program averages across all Lifewater programs and are based on the population size of the village. Community contributions are included in the program costs but not in the program funding goals. Real-time results are provided from the actual project sponsored. Occasionally Lifewater will receive more contributions for a given project than can be wisely applied to that project. When that happens, we use these funds to meet a similar pressing need in the same program region.

All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Contributions are solicited with the understanding that Lifewater has complete control over the use of all donated funds. Board-approved policy establishes that all gifts restricted for a specific project be applied to the restricted program, with up to ten percent used for administrative and fundraising purposes.