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Friday, September 6, 2019

This is Life for the Zafo Family

Teddy peers past his mud-covered fingers, amused by what he sees. A cloud of mud stirred up by his bare feet has risen from the murky bottom of the pond and now swirls between the leaves and debris on the surface. Astel, Teddy’s mother, clears the debris aside as she dips her 20-litre container into the muddy water to gather her family’s household water for the day.

Her container full, the daily ritual is over. Astel straps Teddy to her chest, heaves the heavy container onto her back, and then begins the arduous, one-hour trek back to her home.

Astel will use this water for cooking her son’s dinner. Some will be saved to drink, and some will be used to wash dishes. Any water that is left will be used to clean diarrhea off Teddy’s legs. Today, just like many other days, Teddy is sick because of the water he played in and drinks.

This is life for the Zafo family; Teddy, Astel and her husband, Fanikale. They live in Kole Zale, located in the rugged mountains of southern Ethiopia.

Kole Zale is downstream from other communities in the area. These communities wash clothes, bathe animals, and drop waste into the stream that eventually meanders down to the pond where Astel gathers water while Teddy plays.

During the dry season, the stream will thin and disappear. And with the drying of the stream, the men of Kole Zale will need to find work in nearby communities. With access to clean water, Fanikale can choose to stay in Kole Zale and grow his own food to sell at the market. Not only will he feed his family and earn an income, he will also be there to watch his wife Astel become self-reliant.

When water comes to Kole Zale next year, with it will come women’s self-help groups. When Astel joins a group, she will be given the opportunity to learn income-generating skills, money management, and start saving for the future. With a loan from her self-help group, Astel will be able to start her own business with the support of her community.

When a water system is built in Kole Zale, the change will not only transform the community, it will also transform Teddy’s life. Through your generosity, he will never have to know a life without access to clean water.

Change everything for the Zafo Family, donate now at