There’s a famous anecdote about a little girl who walked along a beach after a storm, tossing stranded starfish back into the safety of the ocean. When asked why she bothered when there were thousands of starfish, she replied, “I made a difference to that one.”
Last week, I told you about how women and girls in many Maasai villages have to journey kilometres every day to search for water. Their lives are an endless routine of water gathering, so necessary in their parched, dusty land. Yet sometimes, a life can be changed…
Rebecca is 28 years old and lives on a Maasai homestead in Narok district, Kenya with her husband and their four children. Accessing water used to be a very stressful part of Rebecca’s life. She trudged up to 10 kilometres every day to access water from the Siyiapei River for her family and their small but precious herd of cows, sheep and goats.
Fortunately, Rebecca’s life took a significant change for the better a few years ago, when Operation Eyesight, the Kenya Ministry of Health Services, and Kenya’s Water Resources Management Authority drilled a borehole near their village.
The borehole is less than one kilometre from their homestead, and Rebecca and her husband are employed as the caretakers of the water project. This has given them an additional job of which they are very proud, as well as a steady monthly income.
Rebecca’s family has also earned the trust of the community as they regulate the water for domestic and livestock use and manage the banking that results from the water sales. Water beyond personal use is sold for a modest fee to help pay for maintenance of the well, generator and housing – all of which ensures the borehole’s sustainability for future generations.
The well has had significant health benefits for Rebecca and everyone else in the village. Water-borne diseases have been reduced, which has also reduced the money spent on medical services. In addition, access to clean water has allowed for improved personal hygiene, reducing ailments such as trachoma and skin infections which have plagued the area for years.
Rebecca hopes that “such worthy help will land in another community and that Operation Eyesight will get more money to continue helping others.” She is most grateful to our generous donors for supporting the well and freeing people like her from the fear of avoidable blindness.
Like the starfish, Rebecca’s life was changed because someone cared enough to make a difference! Learn more about how you can help people like her.