Seeing the difference water makes

Abbotsford woman relates personal experience in Ethiopia and how Run for Water can help

Contributed by Heather Peters

As a doula I had helped many moms deliver babies before but I had never experienced anything like this.

Back in March I travelled with a team of fellow teachers to visit Ethiopia to see the difference Run for Water is making.

When we got to the village of Yella there was a lady going into labour. There was no doctor in the village and so alongside a nurse I volunteered to help this mother deliver her baby. The mother’s name was Uncommo and although she didn’t speak any English we developed a bond. She would hug me and squeeze my hand as the contractions got more intense.

The water crisis became very real for me as I looked around this tiny medical clinic and realized that there was no running water and no water for the mother to drink.

I ran to my tent to grab my bottle of water to give to her and she smiled and said thank you.

And that’s when I got it.

I was bringing clean water not to Africa, not to Ethiopia not even to the village of Yella, I was bringing it to a woman named Uncommo and her little baby who she named Teigel.

She was not a statistic. She had a family and she wanted the best for her kids in the same way that I want the best for mine. She just needed water.

It is so rewarding to be part of an organization like Run for Water that is changing the lives of thousands of people.

Water is the basis of all development and empowerment of the community. It allows girls to go to school because they don’t have to walk for hours trying to find water. It frees up women to spend time developing micro-businesses to help bring in income.

As a teacher it’s very rewarding to tell real stories of how clean water is making a huge difference. It’s so amazing to know that by June of this year Uncommo will have clean water for her baby.

Heather Peters is a mother of four and full-time teacher in Abbotsford. The Envision Financial Run for Water offers free educational resources for teachers to inspire kids to be global citizens.

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