783 million people around the world drink unsafe water. In developing countries, women often walk up to 4 miles to fetch water for their families, and this water is often contaminated. Unsafe water leads to disease, poor health, and death.
Cambodia’s troubled past has left entire generations living in extreme poverty with no resources and few options. Men are forced to leave home in search of work, leaving women and children behind to scrape a meager existence from the dry earth. The dry season can last up to 8 months, providing the people with no water to drink or grow food. Women and children must fetch contaminated water from pits, holes, or streams, leaving them with no time or energy to go to school or earn an income. HOPE works in Cambodia’s Pursat Province installing wells that provide ample clean water year-round. One well provides water for up to six families - for life. Once clean water is available, the transformation is almost immediate. With HOPE’s additional support such as health and hygiene education, agricultural training, and animal husbandry programs, families become healthier, are able to grow a surplus of fresh vegetables, and are able to earn a sustainable income to better their lives.
In the communities where HOPE works in the southwest region of Ethiopia, villages are cut-off from local towns due to rugged terrain and lack of roads. Community resources are lacking, families are hungry and sick, and children are unable to attend school. The first step in helping these families lift themselves out of extreme poverty is access to clean water. Gravity-fed spring capping projects provide a centralized water system that supplies plenty of clean water for the entire community, including schools and health posts. Sanitation facilities and health education accompany system construction in order to maximize the benefits of clean water. Once clean water is established, women’s self-help groups are formed in which women are provided basic education, as well as savings and business training, in order to start home businesses to support their families. These efforts work in harmony to enable families and entire communities to better their own lives for generations to come.