The Impact of Water Women (and one Water Dad) in Kenya
Kathy and Wes with the Diocese of Bismarck Share Their Experiences
Kathy and Wes with the Bismarck Diocese and Kenya coordinator Lilian hosted recent Water Women training sessions at Mosebeti Catholic Church in Kenya. The 15 participating women at one session were very enthusiastic and asked several questions about the Sawyer PointONE filter and how it functions.
Included in the training session was a young Kenyan father called Francis, a catechist, who has helped at several Water Women training sessions before participating in his own formation. Francis lost his wife last year to an asthma attack and is raising two young daughters by himself. His older daughter is attending college.
Kathy shared some of her impressions from the newest Water Women as she accompanied Lilian to initial training and follow-up sessions: “The women are very grateful for this gift of clean water. At the training, we can see their expressions of surprise when they see the dirty water and then see the water after it goes through the filter. We have a cup for each woman to taste the filtered water and sometimes you see a little hesitation but, after trying it, they have smiles on their faces and often want to drink more.”
Kathy emphasized that “it is also a humbling experience because we take for granted the gift of clean water and don’t really think twice about it. Back home, clean water flows easily from our taps.” Instead, many women in this Kenyan community are collecting their water from a nearby river.
Recently, while conducting a follow-up at a church, Kathy, Wes and Lilian noticed a Water With Blessings bucket and filter inside the church door. Lilian asked a group of women why the bucket was there. She learned that a Water Woman brought the bucket and filter to provide clean drinking water for men working on a house next to the church for the catechist.
The Water Woman told Lilian that the men didn’t want to drink the water as they didn’t “trust” the filter to work. When they returned the following week, they saw that the bucket was there again and a man was using the bucket to get a drink of water. Seeing a man drink the filtered water, Lilian learned that all of the men now like the filtered water! The refreshing, clean water made believers of the men as well!
At the follow-up sessions, Kathy, Lilian and Wes hear many words of gratitude from the women, thanking them and the Bismarck Diocese for the gift of the filter. Lilian engages the Water Women as they color in their books about the filter and how it is working. Women share with Lilian that “the children no longer have stomach issues” and they don’t have to burn as much wood since they don’t need to boil water before drinking it since they have the filters. “The Water Women feel like they need to give us something in return and we tell them it is not necessary. Their gratitude is immense and truly heartfelt,” Kathy writes in her e-mailed letter.
Lilian, the Kenya coordinator that travels with Kathy and Wes, organizes the Water Women training sessions and makes the follow-up calls. While Kathy and Wes travel with Lilian to help, she is the one leading the Water Women sessions. English is not spoken by many of the older women nor is Kiswahili. The women in this area typically know Ekegusii, a tribal language, so Lilian teaches in Ekegusii.
Kathy praises Lilian’s dedicated work: “It is a blessing to have Lilian and it has been successful because of her ability to interact with the women and teach in their language.”
We wish all Water With Blessings’ supporters Habari za leo, a Swahili greeting that means “How are you today?” Daily life is going well for the newest Water Women in Kenya thanks to the dedicated support of Water With Blessings’ donors and the steadfast commitment of Kathy, Lilian and Wes.
Water With Blessings HQ will be closed on Monday, May 30, 2022, to observe Memorial Day. We honor the memories of all those that lost their lives in service to our country and support the service of active-duty members and veterans.
Conway Middle School Raises $250 for Ukraine
Students sell chocolate bars to provide clean water in war-torn country
Debbie Robson, our Chief Operating Officer, recently visited with students and their teacher, Mary Sithu, at Conway Middle School in Louisville, Kentucky to accept an oversized check for $250. The students sold candy bars to raise funds to support more mini-filters that will be transported to people in Ukraine via Poland. Water With Blessings continues to partner with Razom for Ukraine in Louisville and Chicago to ensure mini-filters and safe water for Ukrainian people under immense distress and danger. We thank Renee Schultz, our former Youth Program Coordinator, for connecting Conway Middle School with our life-saving mission. We first met Mary Sithu at a Women in Technology conference last year. Her class raised funds last year for Haiti.
If your school would like to learn more about Water With Blessings or support a fundraiser to raise funds for Ukraine or one of the other 49 countries where we have Water Women, please contact us at email@example.com to learn more. Your class or school or craft club can also volunteer to knit or crochet more filter cover socks.
Creating More Partnerships for Clean Water
Is your social group, civic group, church organization, fraternity, sorority, alumni group, veterans group, networking group or professional society looking for community projects or volunteer opportunities to help others?
You can help us share the good news of the vital work of Water With Blessings with those organizations. Our team will provide guest presenters for your organization’s meetings or special events. We will demonstrate the Sawyer PointONE filter and show how we reach women and their families in 50 countries around the world, including the U.S., with clean water.
You and your organization can volunteer at one of our community outreach events, such as the InterTribal Water Gathering, or you can design one of your own. Your organization’s newsletter or website can share information about our mission and upcoming events.
We enjoy collaborating and partnering with other organizations–please contact us at 502-749-5492 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how we can partner with you and your group. Together, we can make more clean water flow for God’s Thirsty Children.
Saturday, June 4, FROM 12:00-8:00
Monarch Festival at the
Mt. St. Francis Spirituality Center in Indiana.
This community event and immersive butterfly experience will begin at noon and conclude at 8:00 pm EDT with free admission and parking. More details about scheduled children’s activities, music, food trucks and the beer/wine garden are available at https://monarchmountfest.com/festival-schedule/
Where Will You See Water With Blessings Next?
With the warmer spring temperatures, there are more opportunities to visit with the Water With Blessings team at community events or volunteer with us to help share our one-of-a-kind mission. Next up will be the Saturday, June 4, Monarch Festival at the Mt. St. Francis Spirituality Center in Indiana. This community event and immersive butterfly experience will begin at noon and conclude at 8:00 pm EDT with free admission and parking. More details about scheduled children’s activities, music, food trucks and the beer/wine garden are available at https://monarchmountfest.com/festival-schedule/