The Power of Clean Water

Hannah lives in a small village in Zambia near an emerald mine with her parents, brother and sister in a house made of concreate blocks and iron roofing sheets.  Her father is a teacher and volunteer with Save the Children and her mother raises and sells chickens.  As a fourth grader, Hannah’s jovial personality and easy smile make her stand out.  She wants to be a nurse when she grows up.

Five years ago, Save the Children introduced the sponsorship programs in her community and built new underwater piping that provided clean water. Hannah vividly recalls the old rusted borehole at the school that had contaminated water and would run out in the hot season. That is where her family got their drinking water.

“The borehole was so old that the water used to be very muddy. I think rats used to die in there because the water had some rat fur,” she explains.

According to the Head Teacher at Hannah’s school, “the water would dry out and the month of October, during the hot season, was our worst. Children were made to stay home during these times and lessons were disrupted,” she explains.  “Children were slow to catch up on lessons; they would repeat a grade due to poor performance or not return to school at all.”

Today, with the new well, children in the village are eager to learn all the time and they now know how to practice healthy habits, including handwashing. Many households in Hanna’s village have also benefited from the clean water source, and personal hygiene has improved for everyone.

“Now that Save the Children has made us a better borehole, children are being kept in school throughout and our surroundings look beautiful because we have excess water to even water the grass and flowers,” boasts the head teacher proudly.

Hannah helping a friend write a letter to their sponsor

“The water is so nice, clean and cold like it has been refrigerated. I know it is safe because I have not heard of any of my friends that have gotten sick from drinking it. I even carry some of it at home in my water bottle” says Hannah.

Simply providing clean, quality water to a community makes an enormous difference in the lives of children.  It not only has the obvious benefits for health and hygiene, but it also allows children to learn and lead productive and happy lives. Thank you to our sponsors for making this life changing impact possible!

Child Survival, Malnutrition and Giant Poos


Dhheadshot  Dave Hartman, 
Save the Children, internet marketing and communications specialist

New York, New York

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Save the Children staff was all over New York City advocating for a renewed commitment to achieving the U.N Millennium Development Goals. The morning kicked off with “Five Years for Children: Achieving the MDGs with Equity,” a panel discussion featuring Elisabeth Dahlin, Secretary General of Save the Children Sweden, Dr. Abhay Bang of SEARCH and senior executives from World Vision, Plan International and UNICEF. In the video below Dahlin gives a brief overview of the discussion.

Save the Children Board Chair Anne Mulcahy attended an event sponsored by the U.S. and Irish governments to address malnutrition among children. Malnutrition weakens children’s immune systems and makes them more susceptible to major life-threatening childhood illnesses. Mulcahy elaborates on the event:

Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, was interviewed by Sian To, aka “Mummy Tips,” a mommy blogger from the UK. To recently returned from Bangladesh where she blogged about Save the Children’s health work in remote areas of the country.

In uptown Manhattan, staff members heard from various speakers and panelists at the UN Week Digital Media Lounge, hosted by the 92Y with support from Mashable and the United Nations Foundation. Here are just a few of our favorite quotes from the summit and other events Save the Children attended:

“Children are not just our future, they are our present… they are powerful actors who need to be engaged” Kevin Jenkins CEO of WorldVision

“I wish there was a rock star against Diarrhea, that would be awesome!”- UN Foundation’s Elizabeth Gore

“When you change the lives of girls and women, you also change the lives of boys and men.” World Bank’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

“The Millennium Development Goals have been good, but not been good enough for the most marginalized children” Alfred Ironside, Director of Communications, Ford Foundation 

A vicious, relentless killer was spotted outside the lounge (sort of). Water Aid, a nonprofit dedicated to providing universal access to clean water, had staff members parade around the city in a giant poop costume, complete with fake flies. The goal was to raise awareness of inadequate sanitation and hygiene in developing countries, two issues that contribute to more than 4,000 child deaths in the developing world, perday. Enough from me, Steve from Water Aid can better explain:

Check back tomorrow for another update, you can follow along live by visiting our Facebook page or following us on Twitter.