If Hope Were a Person: Beatrice’s Transformation Story
“If hope was a person then it would look like Beatrice Talikwana,” Richard, a Lifewater staff member, said. And he’s right. Laughter, inspiration, and ambition follow Beatrice wherever she goes.
When we met with her in Kafumita Magale village, Uganda, she held her pregnant belly with one hand and a smile spread across her face. She laughed loudly and easily, bringing out our own laughter.
It’s hard to believe that in 23 years, Beatrice has lived through so much hardship.
For years, Beatrice and her community shared a water well with six other densely populated villages. The well broke down every month, causing the water to trickle from the handpump. She made two trips a day to this crowded well, each time taking two or three hours. That is up to six hours spent waiting in the Ugandan heat for water.
This left no time for work on her farm, and Beatrice, her husband, and their two children depend on their farm for their meals. Even with her husband working long hours, without Beatrice’s help, the family wouldn’t have enough to eat. But without enough water, they wouldn’t be able to cook their meals.
“It was difficult spending all that time waiting for your turn to fetch water knowing you had to work in the garden and prepare meals,” she said.
Beatrice and her neighbors were faced with a choice. Gather water but forgo cultivating their farms, or pull the children from school to gather water in their place. Both, Beatrice said, came at a cost.
She watched as girls dropped out of school having missed so many weeks to gather water. She watched as those girls were married as minors and gave birth to their own children. She grew fearful for her own family, and for years she clutched her daughters close to her.
But at the end of 2019, Kafumita Magale village received their own safe water well. They partnered with Lifewater’s water engineers, health experts, and donors, and life looks completely different.
“We are now free,” Beatrice said.
Not only is water abundant, but Kafumita village is healthy.
“We can pay for our children’s education,” Beatrice said. “We feel Lifewater’s care through how our children’s lives are impacted for the better; as a mother it is always heartwarming to feel reassured that your children have a chance to live better.”
In Kafumita Magale village, everyone is living better.
“You can’t believe it, but our community is now buzzing!” she said. “Our dreams are being realized in every way; families are happier and healthier.
In Kafumita Magale village, Uganda, there are no more long lines at a faulty water well. Girls are staying in school and excelling, men and women are starting businesses, and there is food on the table.
In 2020, Beatrice gave birth to a beautiful child, one that will grow up never having personally experienced the global water crisis. None of this happens without the hard work and dedication of women like Beatrice who adopt life-saving healthy habits and donors who give generously to make transformation possible.
From Beatrice, all of Kafumita Magale village, and all of us at Lifewater, thank you.