An elderly woman in Kenya fills a vessel with water.
Mar 22 2017

On World Water Day, how sponsorship can help provide clean water

Kenyan elder saves up to install water access at her home

An elderly woman in Kenya fills a vessel with water.

Doris, a sponsored elder in Kenya, displays the water fixture she had installed after saving up her sponsorship benefits.

In 1993, the United Nations designated March 22 as World Water Day. It’s an occasion to spread awareness about the global water crisis and work toward the goal of all people having access to safe water by 2030.

In Unbound’s programs in Latin America, Africa and Asia, clean water is something that a number of families access with the help of their sponsorship benefits.

As part of our commitment to decentralized decision-making in our programs, sponsored elders and the parents of sponsored children decide for themselves how to use their sponsorship resources, with the support of an Unbound social worker. From stabilizing their day-to-day lives with food and other basic necessities, to ensuring children can attend school, to saving up to build a new home or install a water fixture, the families of Unbound are using the boost they get from sponsorship to improve their lives.

Doris, an elder in Kenya, exemplifies this wisdom and ingenuity. She’s 74 years old and lives in a rural area north of Nairobi. Often unable to make the trek to the nearest clean water well, Doris grew tired of asking her neighbors to borrow water.

“Now I have water to drink. ... This makes me happy.“ — Doris in Kenya Click To Tweet

She took the matter into her own hands and decided to save her monthly sponsorship benefits so she could have water piped to her yard. She made sacrifices in other areas of her life, where she might normally use the funds, to save as much as she could. The result was a water fixture with all the clean water she needs, right outside her door.

“As I was getting older I felt that I will not be able to carry the water from my neighbor’s [house],” Doris said. “So I decided to save up some money, so that I get water to drink.

“Now I have water to drink, to wash my clothes and utensils. This makes me happy.”

On World Water Day, people like Doris help close in on the goal of everyone having access to clean water. With support from her sponsor, Michael in North Carolina, and the local Unbound staff, she was able to access clean water, and now she generously shares that water with her neighbors and friends — providing more access for more people.

Sponsor someone like Doris, or make a donation to our Health fund, which is often used to help sponsored individuals and their families gain access to clean water.

Maureen Lunn

Writer/Editor

Maureen joined Unbound in 2016. With a master’s degree in international studies, Maureen has long been passionate about international development and loves using writing as a means to share that passion. She is a globetrotter, movie lover, Sporting KC fan, yoga teacher and self-designated crazy cat lady. Maureen and her husband, Toby, sponsor an elder in Kenya named Wambui.

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