Wednesday, March 8, 2017 — At Islamic Relief, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day today by appreciating women’s contributions to the world. We also want to give more women the chance to use the talents that God gave them.
So many factors determine whether a woman can choose how to spend her time. One that may come as a surprise is the availability of water.
A staff member here at Islamic Relief remembers how clearly he saw the effect of water on women and girls in a small African village where donors had funded the construction of a well.
When he visited the village, the new well was surrounded with people collecting water for their daily activities. He asked them what difference the well made in their lives.They said, “We built that school.”
He asked what the school had to do with the well.
They explained that the village women and children used to spend a lot of their time carrying water from the old faraway well. Sometimes they waited in line for water so long that the sun began to set. When that happened, they would sleep by the well, because danger lurked for the women and girls by the dark paths at night.
Now that the well was built, instead of spending their days carrying water, the women helped grow crops. The extra money from the crops had paid for the school.
And instead of fetching water, the girls could attend the school.
The well opened up brand new horizons for these girls and women.
In Africa, people spend 40 billion hours each year carrying water, and it’s usually women and girls. Imagine what they could do with those 40 billion hours if they weren’t carrying water!
The same Islamic Relief staff member recalls speaking to a grandmother in Pakistan after teams installed a water faucet in her house—the first water tap she’d ever had. With such a wonderful new amenity in front of her, she was crying. He asked why.
I spent half my life fetching water, she told him. “Now my granddaughters do not have to do the same.
Now that’s something to celebrate.
We’d love for you to be a partner in this effort! Choose the “Water” fund to help bring this gift to another community.