“Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink”
This line, paraphrased from a poem, describes being surrounded by something yet not being able to benefit from it. For children and communities in need, this expression is often literal.
Today, 785 million people still lack access to clean water. That’s 1 in 10 people on the planet. By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. We are familiar with water cuts – but how would we feel if we didn’t have clean water at all? Yet that is a reality for far too many.
As we look towards World Water Day on 22 March 2022, we want to reaffirm that EVERYONE has the right to clean water, and we are glad for the support of people like Freda Liu, World Vision Malaysia Advocate for Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH).
“When I first started sponsoring children with World Vision, all I thought of was equal access to education for children. I didn’t realise it’s about everything else that needs to be in place BEFORE children can go to school and study,” says Freda. One of those things is clean water.
“I remember traveling to Sri Lanka and taking a bath by a well. It was such a unique experience. But while it seemed like a novelty to me, these villagers had to travel for water to shower with and drink every day. So much time and energy is spent on basic necessities. When you don’t even have the basics, how can children go to school and concentrate?”
The lack of clean water trickles down into every aspect of life. In many communities, children (usually girls) are tasked with fetching water. The distances they walk – 6km on average – means that they often miss out on education. Without clean water, people can’t clean their homes or themselves. 2 billion people worldwide lack access to adequate sanitation, leaving them exposed to diseases like diarrhoea.
Freda currently sponsors children from Myanmar, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. Through her contributions and the support of others, children are benefitting from World Vision’s clean water and sanitation projects. Here are a few recent examples:
In the Rautahat West community in Nepal, 650 handwashing corners were built, allowing individuals and families to practice handwashing. As a result, the rate of diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia has decreased.
In the Basanti community of India, 22 portable handwashing stations for childcare centres and five community handwashing stations were installed. As a result, 1,200 children and 1,500 community members could access handwashing facilities. 380 households got safe drinking water through household water filters.
All across the globe, efforts like these are bearing fruit – World Vision brings clean water to children every ten seconds. We are grateful for child sponsors like Freda and donors who make this possible.
As 22 March approaches, join us in giving vulnerable children access to clean and safe water. It doesn’t take much! Says Freda: “We can all do our part... one child at a time, one life at a time. Collectively we ARE making a difference.” Give a child ‘a drop to drink’ today!
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In 2021, 85.9% of donations collected were used for programmes that benefit children, families and communities in need.