One common New Year’s resolution is to get healthy and drink more water. We are privileged to have clean water on demand, and at our fingertips anytime we want to increase the amount of water we drink. We don’t have to worry about the harmful effects of water, only the positive benefits it will provide for our body and health.
783 million people around the world do not enjoy the same privilege we have of access to abundant clean water. 37% of those surviving without clean water live in sub-Saharan Africa, where Uganda is located. Unclean water can cause and spread serious illnesses such as cholera, malaria, diarrhea, dysentery, and hepatitis. Because the process of boiling water for sanitation is demanding, it is difficult to keep up with the need for safe water for bathing, washing, and drinking.
If you have ever been under a “boil advisory,” you know the extra time and work it takes to sanitize water. Now, consider the additional work of drawing the water from a well and transporting it by foot. The “jerry” containers we use to carry well water weigh about forty pounds when they are full. It is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, but absolutely necessary for the health and safety of our staff and students. It is a hefty challenge to provide an adequate supply of clean water for the 450 students in our schools. We use 13,500 liters of water every day just for bathing and washing clothes, not including what we use for drinking and cooking!
We are encouraged by the success of last year’s “Sleep First” and “Feet First” campaigns through which we were able to provide 100 mattresses and 685 shoes to our students! This year, Simone’s Kids will launch our “Thirst First” campaign on February 18th with the goal of raising $18,000 to provide efficient, clean, and safe water for the students and staff at our schools. The campaign will run for three weeks until March 4th.
The funds raised through this campaign will be used to purchase two water pumps (approximately $800 each), eight water tanks (roughly $1,500 each), and two water filtration systems (approximately $2,000 each). The pumps will bring water into the tanks from underground sources. We will also be able to use the tanks to store water from the rainy season to use during the dry/drought season. Filtration systems, from Impact Water, can process 1,000 liters of water per day for two years and will ensure the water is free from waterborne illnesses and other contaminants. All of these components will work together to improve the health and quality of life for our staff and students. It will significantly reduce the time spent on gathering and sanitizing water. Best of all, our students will not have to suffer from the sicknesses they battle from bathing and drinking unclean water. They will be happier, healthier, and will not have to miss as many school days due to these illnesses. Convenient and ample clean water will bless our students every single day in an immediate and impactful way!
It only costs $30 to provide 100 liters of clean water. We hope you will partner with us to put “Thirst First” for Simone’s Kids. You can help our students achieve their academic goals as well as promoting their health and wellness by contributing to our campaign in February and March. Every time you run your faucet, refill your water bottle, clean your clothes, or take a shower, you could be reminded that you have been a part of providing the same basic necessity for hundreds of students at our schools in Uganda.
Written By: Carrie Thompson, Simone’s Kids Marketing Committee Member