Mueni's family has safe water at home
Meet Mueni. She is fourteen years old. Mueni dreams of playing professional soccer one day. She imagines herself playing games around the world like her favorite French football player, Paul Pogba. For now, Mueni has all the ingredients for a healthy childhood full of time to learn, play, and create the future she wants for herself in Kenya and beyond. However, just a few months ago, the same could not be said for Mueni’s life.
Mueni’s family lacked access to safe water at home. Not until recently did Rhoda, Mueni’s mom, learn she could take a small loan from Water.org's local partner, KWFT, to help the family finance a long-term safe water solution. This is the story of how lasting access to safe water at home has changed Mueni's life, as told by Mueni...
Water used to be very far away from home…we walked to a stream. There was a day when our donkey fell due to the weight of the water we packed and we thought he was dead. My brother also collapsed one day because of exhaustion from carrying heavy water jugs. It was too much for us, because we used to come home from school at around 5:30, then leave for the stream immediately, without even having a snack first. During the dry season, we had to dig a hole to be able to reach the remaining water after the stream dried up. So many people lined up in that hole to get the little water that was left. The road back home was very scary because we were usually alone.
We have been harassed by men several times. Sometimes we just ran, other times we would hide and wait for them to pass. Usually, we would get home at around eight o’clock at night. Then, we would go and round up the goats and cows to take them back to the shed. Then, after that we would eat our supper and go to bed because we were too tired to do anything else. The next day we would wake up at around five-thirty in the morning to go to school and then, go through the same thing in the evening. I remember I was usually very sad when the time came to go home because I knew that there was a lot of work waiting for me, and I felt like my body couldn’t handle it.
I had to collect water like this every day. Sometimes the water was for our use, and other times it was for the garden and animals. We often had to drink the water from the stream. I cannot even count the number of times my siblings and I have been taken to the hospital to be treated for amoeba or typhoid. It took a toll on our health, and it was very stressful as we would sometimes miss school due to excessive diarrhea among other things.
Since our mother bought our family this water rain storage tank, we have never had to go back to the stream because we always have water at home. Having water here is the best thing that has happened to our family.
Now when I come home from school, I help mother with small chores and then I can study. I don’t feel as tired as I used to back then, and I am able to wake up fresh in the morning, ready to learn. This has really helped me improve my grades in school, because instead of dozing off, I am now participating more in class, and the teachers are hopeful that I will be among the best performing pupils in my class.
It is for girls like Mueni that we give our everything every day to increase affordable access to lasting safe water and improved sanitation solutions. Her story is like those of thousands of young girls around the world whose lives have changed thanks to the generous support of our donors. Here’s to the day Mueni plays professional soccer and here’s to safe water for all.