Water Clean Water

Every child deserves access to water that won’t make them ­sick

Written by Jodi Carlson on Jan 23, 2024 1:53:36 PM

Wearing torn yellow pants and dusty sandals, a young boy squats in the dirt by a metal tub of dirty water in Zambia.

Kelvin, 5, has been malnourished for over two years because the only water his family has to drink is filled with bacteria, causing chronic diarrhea.

For the 703 million people lacking basic drinking water access today, relief continues to remain out of reach. In the year 2024, we are living in the middle of a global water crisis. Even with all the world’s modern advances, every day, grieving family members lay to rest more than 1,000 children under 5 who’ve died from diseases related to lack of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene.

The pain is deep and the need is significant. Susan knows this full well.

Dirty water robs life

In Zambia, Susan and her husband struggle to provide for their family. Despite chest pains and an injured leg, Susan walks each day to gather water for her seven children and three grandchildren. During the dry season, Susan walks two hours to reach the nearest stream — and three hours to return home due to the additional weight of the water.


Sadly, the water she brings home is ­filled with dangerous bacteria. Her children become sick with extreme diarrhea — so much so that Kelvin, her 5-year-old son, pictured above by the water trough, has suffered from malnutrition for the past two years. “Often, I do cry, even when I go get water, I cry,” she says.

Many other mothers experience the same heartbreak. And the global water crisis disproportionately affects women and girls — the need to haul water for their families robs them not only of the present, but their future as well.

Clean water brings life

Charity can relate. She used to struggle through each day. “Before the borehole came, we used to suffer,” she shares. With so much time in the day being consumed with water retrieval, Charity says their “poverty became worse.”

Diarrhea was common, and so was sharing just over five gallons of water between the four family members to bathe in. Dirty school uniforms were the norm.

Charity and her family

Now, however, Charity and her family are thriving. After their community was equipped with a borehole constructed by World Vison less than a five-minute walk from home, things look a lot different.

The family isn’t getting sick due to diarrhea. They no longer go hungry thanks to their new vegetable garden, and they enjoy three meals a day instead of one. They’ve even started raising animals.

Charity pouring water over garden

The family’s home now includes a kitchen that Charity’s husband, Moris, built after the new water access allowed him to make the bricks. And flowers bloom outside, a beautiful testimony to their changed lives unfolding.

“Because of the water, my children and family do not go hungry … Now we bathe whenever we want,” she says, smiling.

 Your $1 becomes $5 in impact

You can help meet the urgent needs in this global water crisis by equipping vulnerable communities with access to clean water — water that can help people live the full, healthy lives God intends for them.

Please prayerfully consider partnering with us in our goal to reach 30 million people with access to clean water by 2030. Every gift, every effort to help — it all matters. Your donation to the Global Water Fund can help empower more families like Susan’s to experience fuller lives, like Charity’s.

one dollar becomes five dollars

What’s more: Your gift multiplies in impact. Your $1 investment — combined with funding from public grants, child sponsorship, foundations, and corporations — will have an impact of $5. Your gift will help equip vulnerable children and families with urgently needed access to clean water, improved sanitation, and hygiene behavior-change programming. Together we can show God’s unconditional love for all people, empowering them for a future where they not only survive but thrive.