“What does it look like to be a middle/high school girl in Kaberamaido, Uganda? Often times it looks NOTHING like this.” (Instagram @thisislindsay)
We are dedicated to bringing access to clean water and sanitation to communities around the globe. We often share stories about fixing wells that provide families with clean water for the first time and enable children to attend school and receive an education. But the relationship between clean water and women empowerment isn’t something often talked about.
In a recent trip to Uganda, our trip participants were captivated by the young girls we met through our Menstrual Hygiene training program. Our volunteers listened to the girls, heard their stories and came back home eager to share. They learned that having access to clean water means that the harassment of women drops by 32% and that 33% of women become more active in their communities.* They use the time previously spent collecting water to instead help their communities succeed.
During this trip, our volunteers went one step further by starting a new class with teenage boys to have “a conversation that is needed on a daily basis with young boys about being responsible, respectful, supportive, and kind.” (Instagram @girlinsearchofthatpicture). The class was led by local male role models and our male volunteers. Our work in countries like Uganda challenges the traditional conversations about gender roles and strives to show how men and women can work together to be supportive members of their communities.
Having access to water and hygiene does more than send a girl to school, it can unlock her chance to pursue her dreams of becoming a doctor, teacher, lawyer, pilot, and so much more. Having access to water does more than help a woman support her family, it gives her a voice in her community. Having access to water is more than just a right — it’s being empowered to do anything you set your mind to!
Written by Ashley Quinlan, Program Coordinator