When you want a glass of water, you can just turn on a tap. When Philip wants a glass of water, he has to walk an hour and half to get it. And on top of that long walk, he also has to pay for it!
You see, Philip’s family is very poor. All six of them survive on the meager income his dad earns as a stone mason. Their little house has no running water. Philip and his younger brother are responsible for getting the family’s daily water.
They start with a long walk. The nearest water source is 45 minutes away.
To Philip it feels interminable. It’s a narrow forest path, and branches and grasses poke through his sandals with every step. There are steep hills to climb, and railroad tracks to cross, but for the most part it’s just a long, monotonous trudge. When they finally arrive, things get even worse.
The water source is a privately owned borehole. They charge Philip five shillings (about five cents) for every jerry can he fills. That might not sound like much, but it adds up quickly. And for Philip’s family, it takes a big toll on their very tight budget.
Walking with the heavy jerry can, the trip home feels even longer. Philip carries ten liters of water at a time, which weighs almost 25 pounds! Thankfully, he’s come up with some creative ways to lighten the load. Ever the soccer player, Philip puts the can down on all the flat spots, and rolls it along with his feet!
But for all his creativity, his arms still ache by the time he reaches home.
Perhaps the biggest injustice is that, despite all this cost and effort, the water that Philip brings home isn’t even clean!
The water in the borehole isn’t treated at all. That means it’s susceptible to all kinds of parasites and bacteria. One time, Philip got such bad diarrhea from drinking this water that he was out of school for three days.
On top of that, as with much of the groundwater in Kenya, this water is full of harmful minerals that are destroying Philip’s bone structure. The brown spots on his teeth are one of the tell-tale signs. If he continues drinking this water, Philip will likely develop skeletal deformities that could leave him crippled and in pain.
Philip deserves better!
He is just one of thousands of children who are living without access to clean water. Thankfully, by partnering with local churches where these kids live, we can help them!
Imagine if there was a rainwater tank at the church just down the road from Philip’s house. He and his cousins would suddenly have hours of their day back, which they could spend focusing on school, play, and their Life Center lessons. No longer paying for dirty water from the borehole, Philip’s family would be able to afford healthier food and other necessities. His day-to-day health would improve drastically – no more harmful minerals eating away at his bones, no more deadly parasites lurking in each cup of water. Best of all, Philip would be visiting the church each day. Pastors and church leaders would have countless opportunities to share with him the Gospel of Jesus, and the hope of the Living Water.
Safe, convenient, sustainable access to clean water would change every aspect of Philip’s life. It’s a transformation we can’t wait to see happen!
Childcare Worldwide is grateful to partner with generous people all over the world to help children in need. If you’re interested in providing clean water for children like Philip, click here.