Did you know that this September is the 10th time people of all ages have taken on the Safe Water September challenge?
Last year, around three quarters of challenge takers were 25 years old or younger — a potent reminder and encouragement that young people across our country are active in mission and passionate about God’s mission of justice and care for the last, the lost, and the least.
One of the things we have learned from our partners over the past 10 years is that water brings transformation. It colours every area of life, from health, to hygiene, to education, to farming, to business, and into the home. When muddy brown water becomes blue, clear and clean, lives are changed.
The people of Zvishavane, Zimbabwe, have had their water sources contaminated with asbestos fibres and cyanide because of mining. Lindiwe, a resident of 20 years, told us about the river, “The fish die. The people die. This is our past history. People dying.” Lindiwe’s village needed permanent access to safe water. “Sometimes we go to the town and buy drinking water,” Lindiwe said. But “if you had breakout of diarrhoea, it would be so expensive to buy water for a family of five”.
Showers of Blessing installed a borehole in Lindiwe's village in May this year!
With this borehole, they will no longer need to bathe in the “oily” river. Moreover, Lindiwe is looking forward to using the water for horticulture. “Growing tomatoes, carrots, butternuts [pumpkin] for our family. Also, for our cattle to drink safer water," she said.
Over the last 10 years, the Safe Water September community has raised more than $1.2 million for safe water projects. If we assume it takes as little as $25 to give one person access to safe water, that’s around 48,000 lives transformed through safe water since we began. That’s as huge as it sounds (and it sounds huge)!
And these days our partners do much more than water on its own. The team at Showers of Blessing in Zimbabwe can work with communities for longer, ensuring that they have access to education for hygiene and business development. They are installing solar-powered bores, so that elderly people and people with disabilities can access safe water without assistance.
It’s a privilege and a blessing to be able to support our partners at Showers of Blessing, the Conference of Churches of Christ in Vanuatu (CCCV), and the Community Advancement Forum (CAF) in Bangladesh through Safe Water September.
Water colours lives, and transforms them in every way, paving the way for better outcomes for whole communities. I look forward with anticipation for the ways God will use the transforming impacts of safe water over the next 10 years, and how much more will be accomplished together!
embody National Coordinator