In 2008 we made our first holiday/cooperation trip to Ethiopia together with Austin, Texas based non-profit A Glimmer of Hope. We fell instantly in love with this vast country and humble hard working people with such generous smiles and characters – a love and admiration that’s only grown stronger over the years and through our son, Dawit, who was born there.
Through A Glimmer of Hope we had the opportunity to visit a community in the north-east region of Tigray. We watched women and children drink filthy water from stagnant ponds and scoop it up to fill their dirty plastic bottles. Cows and goats walked around in that same water – a vital resource shared by all.
It was hard to fathom that they would carry this water for hours to get back home, use it to cook with and give to their children to drink. We learned that they did this every day of the year and that fetching water took up the vast majority of their daytime hours, leaving little time for other work or to attend school. They knew they were getting sick from the water, but had no other choice.
On this trip we learned that access to clean water changes everything for a community – it’s the basis for health, safety, education and income. To-date and with the help of many tremendously generous friends, we have raised fund over 20 water projects in Ethiopia, and with DonandMerit our goal is to create sustainable funding for many more projects around the globe through our collaboration with charity: water.