Today I observed the Partners for Care staff execute a perfect water pack distribution! What a joy to watch. They had already distributed 50 packs at this church and they were returning to distribute 50 more packs. This is a small, village church that is one of 250 churches that we are partnering with. The team didn’t share with me that we would be driving down a mountain to the church! And, it was muddy from the rain. I closed my eyes a few times and prayed.
It is really impossible to describe how the water back packs have helped these women! The women walk DOWN a hill about a mile to fetch water from a stream that is down a hole!
Getting water from the well
And, they pay for the water because the land is owned by someone. Some of the women go at 2am to get there early before the stream is dry. These women were tying a jerry can on their back to fetch the water. I put it on my back to see what it felt like. Just imagine putting five 10 pound bags of potatoes and walking up a muddy, hilly trail for over a mile. Truly, it seems impossible to do! I walked to the stream with them without carrying anything and it wasn’t easy!
Heading home with packs
Now they have the water back packs! To say they love them doesn’t really explain the happiness and appreciation we saw today.
They even go at night for water
Many things made this distribution perfect:
1. The pastor is the one ensuring the distribution of the packs.
2. The community health workers teach the people how to use the packs.
Community health worker explaining how she likes her pack
3. They are using water guard to ensure the water is safe for drinking. And, for those who can’t afford the .25 to buy water guard the PFC staff taught them how to use solar sanitation to ensure the water is safe.
4. The small church was full with the villagers coming to receive the packs and to thank the PFC staff for the packs they received last time.
5. The children sang and danced for us and then the youth sang. They had electricity for the sound system from a small generator.
6. They prepared food for us and tea – very humbling given their level of poverty. We sat outside the church in plastic chairs enjoying the view of the beautiful mountains of Kenya and shared the meal.
7. As we were leaving, they gave us a live chicken in appreciation. We have the chicken in a box in the back of van – taking it to Nairobi with us!
It was wonderful watching the Partners for Care team distribute the packs! They are doing an outstanding job – they teach how to use the water back packs, then they have the people do the return demonstration to ensure they know how to use the packs correctly and then they give the packs to the pastors who works with the CHWs to distribute the packs. The Partners for Care team truly enjoy seeing how the water pack backs change the lives of so many people. We are blessed as an organization to be involved with Greif, PackH20 and Habitat for Humanity with the pack project.
From Kenya, Connie
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