I am on Day 6 of vowing not to shower until I raise my pledge to Well Aware as part of their annual Shower Strike fundraiser. This explains why..
I have felt a connection to the great continent and loved all things African for as long as I can remember. I don’t know where it came from, but since I was a little girl, I have had a knowing deep inside of myself that one day I would go. So, when life at home wore on me so heavily that I didn’t want to go on, I turned to that inner knowing and it led me to Kenya.
It was Kenya because I came across VICDA’s website and read about the founder Irene. Irene was my grandmother’s name, so again I trusted that a sign had been presented to me and followed. Little did I know that in the middle of following my destiny, I would fall in love. The people, the food, the lifestyle, and the culture all drew me in and wouldn’t let go. So, preparations began to return with my daughter for an extended stay.
Our 5 month stay was more difficult than we could have imagined, but also more rewarding and life-changing than we ever could have dreamed. Our bond strengthened, we redefined our priorities and we became more grounded in our true selves. Most importantly, we learned about true happiness and built friendships that feel like life-long family bonds. I told the people of Shalom many times that they had given me much more than I could ever give them.
That was the good side of Africa; the other side is war, hunger and death. When you go to the home of a single mother that is your friend, hear the story of her loss in war, and see her children with only maize porridge to eat; it is something you will never forget. Then you go back to visit and find her oldest child has passed away, and you know that you must do something. I recognize that there is no easy fix for the difficulties faced by developing countries, and I don’t claim to be a global expert. But I believe every drop in the bucket counts, and I am determined to help however I can.
The next question was how. When I boiled down my experience in Kenya, I felt that all needs could be traced back to water. It was the first necessity. You couldn’t have health, education or a thriving economy without having clean water first. Plus, I wanted to help save lives immediately and water related illnesses are the leading cause of disease and death in the world.
Then there is my experience of living in the treehouse without running water for 7 years which left me with a unending appreciation for water. I have first hand experience of hauling water and knowing exactly how much your family uses per day. When our vacations included staying somewhere with a hot shower, I would marvel at the genius of it and insist it was the greatest invention! Then I met people like Margaret in Kenya, who was pregnant and hauling water over two kilometers for her entire family. I could barely lift the full water container. It struck a very deep chord in me.
Why Well Aware?
I met Sarah Evans before my first trip to Kenya and could tell right away that her mission was focused and her heart pure. I began to volunteer with the organization and respected the integrity I witnessed within. My involvement grew and they displayed a true commitment to the communities they served by allowing me to create an internal impact measurement project to identify the actual results of the work they were doing.
Finally, this year I was able to see some of Well Aware’s work on the ground in Kenya with my own eyes. I can only try to describe to you the hope and joy on the faces of villagers when you tell them that you are there to help them find a water solution. Well Aware is an organization that has the dedication and humility to make a long lasting improvement and ultimately save many, many lives.
So, now you know why this cause means so much to me and why I am asking for your donation here. http://showerstrike.org/goodwater Thank you all for your support over the years. It is because of you that I am able to fulfill what I know is my destiny. Be Blessed!