"Water Is Everything"

Mercy

“Hi, my name is Mercy. I am from Kakamega, Kenya, but I am here because of your gift of safe water. Water has been a challenging thing for me from primary to high school. There was one well for 2,000 students, but during the sunny season, the well would dry, making us have to go to the river, where nearby factories disposed chemicals into the water. It was not safe. Sometimes kids drink this water and they die from it. In America, everyone has water inside. We don’t have that in my village. At home, in my village, there is a pump and a well, but both are far away. We would walk with jugs and fetch the water. The water was very heavy, and we would have to make several trips. We had to use chlorine solution to make our water safe. But many people didn’t have it, or they didn’t know how to use it, or that drinking their water without treatment is dangerous for their health. People don’t understand. Kids are suffering from waterborne diseases, and many of them are dying because they gather and drink from a stagnant stream, where there are many mosquitos, which have Malaria, then the kids get sick. Many people die. This summer I am interning at WaterStep. When I was in high school, WaterStep gave my high school, Covenant Peace Christian School, a WaterBall, and it changed how we carried water. It was much easier, and faster, making more time for studies. I first came to Louisville in 2013 through a student extension program with Christian Academy of Louisville. I had the opportunity to come study in America for 3-4 months, which inspired me to pursue a career in Public Health and Business. During the extension program, I became close with my host family, and they invited me back in 2015 to stay with them while I attend university. They helped me apply and become a student at University of Cumberland, where I can continue to educate myself on how I can help others. I have just finished my first year at university. It is important to me for my future career to understand how business works, so I can help others have the tools they need to see their lives changed. I came to WaterStep because I was inspired to expand my views on how to work with this organization, so I can eventually help other communities. If I can have knowledge, then I can apply it to help other people. To be a part of a business that is doing a good thing is really empowering for me. I have a passion to help people, and see children live. If I can learn how to do this good work in my future, I can share this great news in other communities. In these growing countries, kids die every single day from things we can prevent with safe water. If we can do one small thing to prevent millions of kids from dying, it is better than not doing anything. There is not enough safe water for everyone. Water is everything. And if it’s not safe, nothing is safe. There is good improvement with the water. We have to do something.”

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