Water – so common, so ordinary yet so wonderful. We see it every day, we use it for spiritual as well as ordinary common place activities.
At times we feel its gentleness; at other times its destructive power can overwhelm us. Because it is an everyday factor in our lives, it is very simple for us to take it for granted. We turn on a faucet or tap, and water comes out. We might even over-use it, allowing it to spillover so we waste it.
This is not a reality for many people in the world who struggle to get enough water to meet their daily needs. This reality is even more distressing when the water is not potable.
The consequences of both situations can be grave. Illnesses can result from impure water. Children, especially girls, are kept from school because they have a long way to trek to get to the water source, and when they return home, one had to think they have only made one of many trips because the amount of water they can carry at one time is limited.
This is the situation in many rural communities in the area in which HVCF works. Communities are located in areas where there may be a stream or a small pond. But ordinarily that water is used for everything including laundry, bathing, even for a source of water for animals. However, when it is the only source, the people seem to have little choice.
Hope for the Village Child Foundation has been involved in a well program for over 20 years now. Each year communities who are in need of water can apply for assistance to have a hand-dug well with a handpump. This does not mean that the well is given to the people. The community has to agree to give a financial contribution as well as providing some of the material and virtually almost all the labor.
If one enters into a community during this time, one might see a young man coming out of the ‘well’ covered in perspiration and dirt – while the next volunteer is read to do his own part.
It is truly a community work, and when all is in place and clear water is seen coming from the well, it is a community celebration Water, it is said, is life. And the women also are involved, bringing water for mixing cement for the concrete rings which will line the well as well as preparing food for those who are involved in constructing the well.