Change Lives Like Gabi’s

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“When I talk about water, I feel pain inside.” - Gabi

Dodola region, Ethiopia

GPS: 6.8675, 38.8844
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  • Dodola, Ethiopia
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Your gift will help provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene training and infrastructure, and hope to women like Gabi living in Dodola.

Gabi’s Challenges

November 2022

In Dodola, over 80 percent of the population is using an unsafe source of water. Many use unprotected springs and rivers and suffer as a result of the bacteria in their water.

Gabi is an elderly mother of 10 children. Her life has been full of challenges. Since she was a girl, Gabi has lived in the same village. The main changes she has seen in her village over the years are that the children now have more opportunity to make their own choices, and more of them are in school. 

Besides those two things, Gabi notes that not much has changed, including the water crisis that the region faces. This has always been the major source of challenges for Gabi in her lifetime. 

Her family has been relying on the same spring she grew up fetching water from, and it takes her nearly an hour to even get to this spring. The water from this source is unsafe to drink, as cows and other animals use it for water, too. The area around the spring is full of animal feces and smells bad. However, Gabi and her neighbors have no other choice but to drink water that makes them sick. 

“My home has never been free from waterborne illness,” Gabi said.

Though Gabi has faced many challenges during her life, she remains strong and dedicated to helping her family succeed and stay in school. 

“Even through a lot of challenges, I’m happy that my children are now grown up and almost all of them are now in school,” Gabi explained.

The thing that would make her the happiest, though, would be seeing her children free from the worry and diseases that lack of safe water and sanitation and hygiene bring. 

“I always pray I could happily live with my children drinking safe water. I can’t wait to see this dream come true.”

When you give to Dodola, you give life-changing safe water and sanitation and hygiene practices to families in need. Then, mothers like Gabi can experience a new life for themselves and for their children—one full of health and hope. 

 

About the Region

Dodola, Ethiopia

 

Dodola, Ethiopia is home to 269,000 people.

Lifewater began serving in Dodola in 2019, focusing on communities with the greatest need for safe water access.

In Dodola, most families live in traditional mud-thatched homes roofed with dried brush from the surrounding forest. A majority of families rely on agriculture for their annual income, and water scarcity and water quality are among what the communities deem their greatest problems.

Water usage is exceptionally low, with the average household using only 13 gallons of water per day between five-six people. The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 13 gallons per day per person to meet the basic needs of a human body like hydration and hygiene and sanitation. This means that in Dodola, families are surviving off of what amounts to sips of water a day.

Gathering that minimal amount of water takes two hours and 12 minutes a day in the dry season. Women and children often travel to unprotected springs or rivers.

The contaminated water is dangerous for everyone, particularly children under the age of five years old. Their immune systems are still developing, and they aren’t able to fight illnesses like adults.

The good news is, this is entirely preventable. Lifewater’s work in the surrounding area shows that waterborne illness can be nearly eliminated with basic access to things like safe drinking water, proper sanitation, and washing hands with soap.

Children in Dodola need your help. Give safe water to Dodola today.

Am I sponsoring a specific village?

No. Your gift will help provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene for the Dodola region rather than one specific village, making it possible for Lifewater to reach families like this as well as their neighbors.

Will I receive updates?

Yes! You can expect regular updates on progress in the Dodola region. And, when the communities in the region are transformed with safe water, you’ll receive a story and photos from a family whose life is changed because of your gift.

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 45 years’ experience, Lifewater is the longest-running Christian clean water charity in North America. Over those 45 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 45 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

Your gift will help provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene training and infrastructure, and hope to women like Gabi living in Dodola.

Gabi’s Challenges

November 2022

In Dodola, over 80 percent of the population is using an unsafe source of water. Many use unprotected springs and rivers and suffer as a result of the bacteria in their water.

Gabi is an elderly mother of 10 children. Her life has been full of challenges. Since she was a girl, Gabi has lived in the same village. The main changes she has seen in her village over the years are that the children now have more opportunity to make their own choices, and more of them are in school. 

Besides those two things, Gabi notes that not much has changed, including the water crisis that the region faces. This has always been the major source of challenges for Gabi in her lifetime. 

Her family has been relying on the same spring she grew up fetching water from, and it takes her nearly an hour to even get to this spring. The water from this source is unsafe to drink, as cows and other animals use it for water, too. The area around the spring is full of animal feces and smells bad. However, Gabi and her neighbors have no other choice but to drink water that makes them sick. 

“My home has never been free from waterborne illness,” Gabi said.

Though Gabi has faced many challenges during her life, she remains strong and dedicated to helping her family succeed and stay in school. 

“Even through a lot of challenges, I’m happy that my children are now grown up and almost all of them are now in school,” Gabi explained.

The thing that would make her the happiest, though, would be seeing her children free from the worry and diseases that lack of safe water and sanitation and hygiene bring. 

“I always pray I could happily live with my children drinking safe water. I can’t wait to see this dream come true.”

When you give to Dodola, you give life-changing safe water and sanitation and hygiene practices to families in need. Then, mothers like Gabi can experience a new life for themselves and for their children—one full of health and hope. 

Dodola, Ethiopia

 

About the Region

Dodola, Ethiopia

 

Dodola, Ethiopia is home to 269,000 people.

Lifewater began serving in Dodola in 2019, focusing on communities with the greatest need for safe water access.

In Dodola, most families live in traditional mud-thatched homes roofed with dried brush from the surrounding forest. A majority of families rely on agriculture for their annual income, and water scarcity and water quality are among what the communities deem their greatest problems.

Water usage is exceptionally low, with the average household using only 13 gallons of water per day between five-six people. The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 13 gallons per day per person to meet the basic needs of a human body like hydration and hygiene and sanitation. This means that in Dodola, families are surviving off of what amounts to sips of water a day.

Gathering that minimal amount of water takes two hours and 12 minutes a day in the dry season. Women and children often travel to unprotected springs or rivers.

The contaminated water is dangerous for everyone, particularly children under the age of five years old. Their immune systems are still developing, and they aren’t able to fight illnesses like adults.

The good news is, this is entirely preventable. Lifewater’s work in the surrounding area shows that waterborne illness can be nearly eliminated with basic access to things like safe drinking water, proper sanitation, and washing hands with soap.

Children in Dodola need your help. Give safe water to Dodola today.

FAQ's

Am I sponsoring a specific village?

No. Your gift will help provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene for the Dodola region rather than one specific village, making it possible for Lifewater to reach families like this as well as their neighbors.

Will I receive updates?

Yes! You can expect regular updates on progress in the Dodola region. And, when the communities in the region are transformed with safe water, you’ll receive a story and photos from a family whose life is changed because of your gift.

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 45 years’ experience, Lifewater is the longest-running Christian clean water charity in North America. Over those 45 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 45 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 gift reflects your trust in Lifewater International. We commit to honor your generosity by using your gift to help further the mission and vision of Lifewater International. Your donation is used by Lifewater International according to the project objectives to provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene within the specified program area. Lifewater International is a charitable organization as described in 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, registered in the United States. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Donations are non-refundable. Lifewater International will honor a donor’s request for any pre-approved program or project whenever possible. In rare occasions where this is not possible, gifts will be used where needed, in accordance with the organization’s charitable purpose. In accordance with this policy, donor’s explicitly release Lifewater International from further restriction on such funds.