Celebrate women who are empowering the next generation

Through this story, we celebrate Debora, an empowered woman who is empowering the next generation through her hard work and sacrifice.

[strengkth, strength, strenth]
Moral power, firmness, or courage.

Every day, Debora, a grandmother in her late 50’s, would walk 2km from her home in Tchatchou, Benin, to get to the nearest water source. Her job as the matriarch of her household was to gather water for her family. At home, her children and her 11-month-old granddaughter, Naomi waited for her.

The lack of water sources in her area meant that women and children from the village all gathered at the same hand-dug well to wait their turn to fill their buckets. The water was murky at best and almost certainly disease-ridden. They all had families that needed water and although the water was unsafe, they had no choice but to risk their lives to bring it home.

Crowds at the hand-dug well meant that wait times were long and patience among the people would often wear thin. Fights would commonly break out. Some women were so eager to avoid this situation, that they wait until the evening to gather water – leaving them open to many dangers.

After waiting and finally gathering her water, Debora would carry 45 pounds on her head for the entire duration of her 30 minute walk.

She endured the same difficulties every day because she could not let her family down.

“The situation was so bad that I literally cried every night,” she says. “The stress of collecting water was causing problems in my marriage. I prayed to God to find a solution.”

Debora’s strength and endurance brought her and her family through the difficult times, holding out long enough to see a brighter future. When Global Aid Network provided a well to Debora’s village, she no longer had to suffer the long walks, wait times, fights at the well or arguments at home.

Although Naomi won’t have to endure the same hardships that her grandmother did, she will no doubt be encouraged by her grandmother’s sacrifice. Debora’s story of endurance is empowering the next generation to have strength.

The cycle of empowerment continues.

For just $8.50, you can provide one person with clean water for up to 25 years. $89 can provide one training session for a health clinic worker. $180 can provide five handwashing stations for a village.

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