The Gift of Water

22 Nov 2013

One of the principal funders of the work of Survivors Fund (SURF) in Rwanda is the Charities Advisory Trust, which supports our work through Card Aid and the Good Gifts Catalogue.

On my current visit to Rwanda, I have had the opportunity to visit two of our new projects funded by Good Gifts. I will post about the solar cooker project subsequently, but first highlight the progress of our water project.

We first visited Olive near Ntarama in the Eastern Province of Rwanda, who is one of 100 genocide widows in membership of AVEGA, who has received a LifeStraw water purifying unit, which has transformed not only her life – but that of her seven dependents as well (four her own children, and three orphans for which she cares).

Olive and one of her daughters with filtered water from her LifeStraw

Olive and one of her daughters with filtered water from her LifeStraw

The LifeStraw filters out bacteria. parasites and viruses from almost any kind of water. So when the local well runs dry, Olive and her family can even use run-off water with no fear of the illnesses that often affected them previously. They also save money, as they can collect and filter their own water, without having to pay for it.

Survivors Fund (SURF) researched a variety of possible units, and decided on the LifeStraw as it has a three year guarantee, and has secured approval from MINISANTE (Rwandan Ministry of Health). In partnership with CREDI Rwanda, we train beneficiaries such as Olive first on the use and maintenance of the unit, before they are received, and then provide follow-up to ensure that the units are working effectively.

Following the success of this pilot, a further 200 widows will be receiving their LifeStraw units in the coming months. Through which over 2,000 people will be safe in the knowledge that they can drink pure water thanks to Good Gifts!