Help Children like Zinu’s Live Healthy Lives

Get This Project Started

$1,876 Raised of $17,000

10 supporters, 11% sponsored

“I have faced challenges in my life… due to lack of safe water… but I do not want our children to face the same.” - Zinu

Bensa region, Ethiopia

GPS: 6.5551, 38.878

Help Serve 261 People

See Similar Water Projects
  • Story
  • Bensa, Ethiopia
  • FAQ's

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

 

Life in Bensa, Ethiopia

August 2020

 

In the Bensa region of Ethiopia, children under the age of five years old are in danger. Families in the region rely on contaminated water each day, and it can be fatal for young children.

Zinu, her husband, Melese, and their six children live in Bensa in a small community called Odako village. Zinu is ambitious, dedicated to giving her children the best opportunities she can, and willing to do what it takes to make their dreams a reality.

The family gathers water from the local spring three times a day. The spring isn’t protected, so animals drink directly from it, contaminating the water. Zinu estimates that her family spends 6000 birr ($213 USD) on treatment for waterborne diseases each year. The cost is nearly unbearable.

“I have faced challenges in my life, especially due to lack of safe water and no access road to the hospital, but I do not want our children to face the same,” she said. “I am working as much as I can and encouraging my children to be successful in their education and live better lives.”

The mother of six dropped out of school in third grade and her husband in fourth. Like all mothers in Bensa, she wants better for her children.

When you give safe water, you give to mothers just like Zinu in the Bensa region of Ethiopia. You send expert water engineers, health promoters, and the good news of Jesus to communities in need, and you help children live healthy lives.

 

About the Region

Bensa, Ethiopia

 

Bensa, Ethiopia is home to 250,727 people.

Lifewater began serving in Bensa in 2016, focusing on communities with the greatest need for safe water access.

In Bensa, 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 12 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 Bensa, families are surviving off of what amounts to sips of water a day.

Gathering that minimal amount of water takes 1 hour 10 minutes a day per trip, as women and children often travel to unprotected springs or rivers with long lines.

The contaminated water is dangerous for everyone, but particularly children under the age of five years old. Their immune systems are still developing, and they aren’t able to fight the 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 clean drinking water, proper sanitation, and washing hands with soap.

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

Am I sponsoring a specific village?

Your gift will help provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene for the entire Nensebo 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 Nensebo 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 Bensa, Ethiopia.

 

Life in Bensa, Ethiopia

August 2020

 

In the Bensa region of Ethiopia, children under the age of five years old are in danger. Families in the region rely on contaminated water each day, and it can be fatal for young children.

Zinu, her husband, Melese, and their six children live in Bensa in a small community called Odako village. Zinu is ambitious, dedicated to giving her children the best opportunities she can, and willing to do what it takes to make their dreams a reality.

The family gathers water from the local spring three times a day. The spring isn’t protected, so animals drink directly from it, contaminating the water. Zinu estimates that her family spends 6000 birr ($213 USD) on treatment for waterborne diseases each year. The cost is nearly unbearable.

“I have faced challenges in my life, especially due to lack of safe water and no access road to the hospital, but I do not want our children to face the same,” she said. “I am working as much as I can and encouraging my children to be successful in their education and live better lives.”

The mother of six dropped out of school in third grade and her husband in fourth. Like all mothers in Bensa, she wants better for her children.

When you give safe water, you give to mothers just like Zinu in the Bensa region of Ethiopia. You send expert water engineers, health promoters, and the good news of Jesus to communities in need, and you help children live healthy lives.

Bensa, Ethiopia

 

About the Region

Bensa, Ethiopia

 

Bensa, Ethiopia is home to 250,727 people.

Lifewater began serving in Bensa in 2016, focusing on communities with the greatest need for safe water access.

In Bensa, 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 12 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 Bensa, families are surviving off of what amounts to sips of water a day.

Gathering that minimal amount of water takes 1 hour 10 minutes a day per trip, as women and children often travel to unprotected springs or rivers with long lines.

The contaminated water is dangerous for everyone, but particularly children under the age of five years old. Their immune systems are still developing, and they aren’t able to fight the 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 clean drinking water, proper sanitation, and washing hands with soap.

Children in Bensa need your help. Give safe water to Bensa 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 Nensebo 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 Nensebo 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 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.