End Long Walks for Water for Families like Esther’s

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“The only thing on my mind from the time I wake up at 5am is how to get water.” - Esther

Kakumiro region, Uganda

GPS: 1.0613, 31.3909

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Your gift will provide clean water and improved health to families in the entire region of Kakumiro, Uganda.

 

Life in Kakumiro, Uganda

April 2021

 

In the region of Kakumiro, Uganda, the water problem is extreme. On average, families spend three hours making one trip for water.

For women like Esther, the journey is even farther. Three times a day, Esther or her children make the two hour journey to the pond to fill their containers with water. In total, the family will spend 12 hours walking for water each day.

“The only thing on my mind from the time I wake up at 5am is how to get water,” she said. “By the time I return home, I’m too tired to work.”

Although too tired to work, Esther still brings herself to tend to the farm with her husband, Michael, and prepare meals for their four children.

“The school where my children are enrolled is quite far, and yet they have to fetch water at a faraway source too,” Ester said. “All this makes it nearly impossible to make it to school after fetching water.”

“Although mine have not left school, many others I know have,” Ester added. “Having safe water can easily help us keep them in school to study up to university.”

Esther’s dream is to work and save enough money to begin making a way out of poverty.

When you give, you end long walks for water for women like Esther and her family. You bring safe water just steps from homes in Kakumiro, Uganda, and you help give families a beautiful gift, the gift of health and hope.

 

About the Region

Kakumiro, Uganda

 

Kakumiro, Uganda is home to an estimated 400,000 people.

Lifewater began serving in the region in 2018 to reach communities with the greatest need for safe water and improved sanitation and hygiene access.

In Kakumiro, many families live in traditional mud-thatched homes roofed with dried brush or homes constructed with handmade bricks and corrugated metal roofs. A majority of families rely on agriculture for their annual income, and 40% of the population that Lifewater is currently serving has never gone to school.

Concerningly, 14% percent of children under five years old had diarrhea during the seven days prior to the most recent 2019 survey. Diarrhea is a global leading cause of death in children under the age of five years old, and it’s primarily caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

Gathering water takes over two hours per trip, with many families relying on faraway wells, swamps, or ponds.

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

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

Am I sponsoring a specific village?

Your gift will help provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene for the entire Kakumiro program rather than one specific village, making it possible for Lifewater to reach this family as well as their neighbors.

Will I receive updates?

Yes! You can expect regular updates on progress in the Kakumiro 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 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

Your gift will provide clean water and improved health to families in the entire region of Kakumiro, Uganda.

 

Life in Kakumiro, Uganda

April 2021

 

In the region of Kakumiro, Uganda, the water problem is extreme. On average, families spend three hours making one trip for water.

For women like Esther, the journey is even farther. Three times a day, Esther or her children make the two hour journey to the pond to fill their containers with water. In total, the family will spend 12 hours walking for water each day.

“The only thing on my mind from the time I wake up at 5am is how to get water,” she said. “By the time I return home, I’m too tired to work.”

Although too tired to work, Esther still brings herself to tend to the farm with her husband, Michael, and prepare meals for their four children.

“The school where my children are enrolled is quite far, and yet they have to fetch water at a faraway source too,” Ester said. “All this makes it nearly impossible to make it to school after fetching water.”

“Although mine have not left school, many others I know have,” Ester added. “Having safe water can easily help us keep them in school to study up to university.”

Esther’s dream is to work and save enough money to begin making a way out of poverty.

When you give, you end long walks for water for women like Esther and her family. You bring safe water just steps from homes in Kakumiro, Uganda, and you help give families a beautiful gift, the gift of health and hope.

Kakumiro, Uganda

 

About the Region

Kakumiro, Uganda

 

Kakumiro, Uganda is home to an estimated 400,000 people.

Lifewater began serving in the region in 2018 to reach communities with the greatest need for safe water and improved sanitation and hygiene access.

In Kakumiro, many families live in traditional mud-thatched homes roofed with dried brush or homes constructed with handmade bricks and corrugated metal roofs. A majority of families rely on agriculture for their annual income, and 40% of the population that Lifewater is currently serving has never gone to school.

Concerningly, 14% percent of children under five years old had diarrhea during the seven days prior to the most recent 2019 survey. Diarrhea is a global leading cause of death in children under the age of five years old, and it’s primarily caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

Gathering water takes over two hours per trip, with many families relying on faraway wells, swamps, or ponds.

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

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

FAQ's

Am I sponsoring a specific village?

Your gift will help provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene for the entire Kakumiro program rather than one specific village, making it possible for Lifewater to reach this family as well as their neighbors.

Will I receive updates?

Yes! You can expect regular updates on progress in the Kakumiro 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 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. 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.