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“My biggest dream is to lead a safe life.” - Fatuma

Dodola region, Ethiopia

GPS: 6.8675, 38.8844
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  • Dodola, Ethiopia
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Your gift will help provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene training and infrastructure, and hope to families like Fatuma’s living in Dodola.

A Day in the Life of Fatuma

November 2022

Many families in rural Dodola spend their time worrying about their water source and the condition of their water.

Fatuma’s family lives in a village with a critical water problem, and things have rarely gone the way she wanted them to. For example, Fatuma works hard at home to provide for her family, and also owns a small shop for additional income. However, the shop needs much of her time and attention to be successful, but between fetching water and caring for sick family members, Fatuma cannot give her business the attention it needs to be successful. 

Fatuma and her family rely on the contaminated, unprotected spring for their water source which is located behind the fence of the school compound in their village. This is the only water source close to them, so community members and schoolchildren alike must share it. Despite the quality of the water they fetch, Fatuma knows that contaminated water is better than no water. 

“The water we drink often makes us sick,” Fatuma exclaims. “But how can we survive without food and drinking water?”

Fatuma has to make the trip to the unprotected spring at least three times a day to get water for her family’s needs. Because the source is shared with so many people, she often waits in long lines, losing time she could be using to take care of her house and run her business. 

Like many in her village, Fatuma could keep her kids from school in order to help relieve the burden of fetching water, but she places high importance on their education.

“I believe that taking advantage of every available opportunity to send children to school is like laying a foundation for their future. That is why I’m currently sending my children to school even though we have many challenges at home,” Fatuma said. 

Fatuma and her family believe that safe water is the key solution to relieving their current challenges, both at home and at school. 

When you give to Dodola, you give life-changing safe water and sanitation and hygiene practices to families in need. You enable children to stay in school and mothers to thrive in their endeavors.  

 

About the Region

Dodola, Ethiopia

 

Dodola, Ethiopia is home to 269,000 people.

Lifewater began serving in Dodola in 2019, focusing on communities with the greatest need for safe water access.

In Dodola, most families live in traditional mud-thatched homes roofed with dried brush from the surrounding forest. A majority of families rely on agriculture for their annual income, and water scarcity and water quality are among what the communities deem their greatest problems.

Water usage is exceptionally low, with the average household using only 13 gallons of water per day between five-six people. The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 13 gallons per day per person to meet the basic needs of a human body like hydration and hygiene and sanitation. This means that in Dodola, families are surviving off of what amounts to sips of water a day.

Gathering that minimal amount of water takes two hours and 12 minutes a day in the dry season. Women and children often travel to unprotected springs or rivers.

The contaminated water is dangerous for everyone, particularly children under the age of five years old. Their immune systems are still developing, and they aren’t able to fight illnesses like adults.

The good news is, this is entirely preventable. Lifewater’s work in the surrounding area shows that waterborne illness can be nearly eliminated with basic access to things like safe drinking water, proper sanitation, and washing hands with soap.

Children in Dodola need your help. Give safe water to Dodola today.

Am I sponsoring a specific village?

No. Your gift will help provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene for the Dodola region rather than one specific village, making it possible for Lifewater to reach families like this as well as their neighbors.

Will I receive updates?

Yes! You can expect regular updates on progress in the Dodola region. And, when the communities in the region are transformed with safe water, you’ll receive a story and photos from a family whose life is changed because of your gift.

Can I visit programs and/or my sponsored water project?

Lifewater has local staff that live and serve among the communities and schools where Lifewater works. Our staff know the language and the culture and are best equipped to serve communities. Because we seek to ensure sustainable water projects and community buy in, we do not allow donors to visit the projects they sponsor. However, we do commit to sending real-time updates, photos, and stories from the projects themselves.

Where does Lifewater work?

With more than 45 years’ experience, Lifewater is the longest-running Christian clean water charity in North America. Over those 45 years, Lifewater has worked in more than 45 different countries. Currently, our work is focused in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia).

Why these countries and regions?

Lifewater identifies countries and regions that are unreached and underserved with basic water access and sanitation, which means we focus on areas where other organizations are not serving.

Although great strides have been made in the past 20 years to solve the global water crisis, remote and rural populations still remain unreached with adequate water and sanitation. These distant regions are difficult and often costly for governments and NGOs to serve well. Many of these communities feel as though they have been forgotten.

Can I request a water project in a specific country?

Currently, Lifewater has programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Cambodia. You can go to lifewater.org/projects to select a specific water project to help. Because our programs are regionalized and made in partnership with the local governments, we are not able to take requests for specific water projects outside of our existing programs.

What percent of funds go towards programs?

Lifewater budgets 80% of expenditures for programs. The remaining 20% is split between administrative/management and fundraising expenses. This ratio is best in class for nonprofits and is why Lifewater has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator.

Administrative/management expenses are used to ensure that we are effective in managing the funds entrusted to us and include the following types of expenses: accounting personnel, leadership time, professional development of staff, external auditors, legal counsel, government registration expenses in every U.S. state, credit card fees for processing donations, bank fees, database maintenance, and office expenses.

Fundraising expenses generate the income needed to do the work that we set out to do. These include the cost of direct mail appeals and communication, marketing projects, donor relations personnel, and email communication systems. Last year, every dollar invested into Lifewater fundraising efforts resulted in $10 of donation for the organization.

Is Lifewater approved/vetted by 3rd party organizations?

Over our 45 year history, Lifewater has received the highest accreditations from the most respected rating organization in the industry. Lifewater is recognized as one of the top-rated charities in the United States by independent reporting organizations, including:

Charity Navigator (four stars)
Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)
Guidestar (Platinum)
Great Nonprofits (five star)
Excellence in Giving
Learn more at https://lifewater.org/top-rated-charity.

How does Lifewater integrate faith into its work?

Lifewater’s work is founded on the belief that every person is made in the image of God. It is with this conviction that we seek out the globe’s most unreached, marginalized people groups in need of safe water.

Both nationally and internationally, 100 percent of our staff are Christians. These Christian staff help facilitate Lifewater’s Healthy Church strategy in communities. And, where there are no churches, we work with church planting partners to start new churches.

To create Healthy Churches, Lifewater first trains church leaders in foundational theology. These leaders are equipped with the basic story of the Christian faith and the biblical mandate to love others. Leaders learn that stopping the spread of disease and caring for the vulnerable aligns with our responsibility as Christians to love our neighbor.

Second, Lifewater ensures churches have safe bathrooms on their premises, handwashing stations, clean water nearby, and the education to promote health within their congregations. It’s imperative that churches are early adopters of healthy hygiene practices.

Third, Lifewater encourages churches to help vulnerable households become Healthy Homes. Church leaders undergo a training to become WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) advocates in their communities. These advocates are encouraged to identify widows, child-headed households, the elderly, and the disabled to help them meet the health standards of Lifewater’s programs.

What is Lifewater’s process? What does the organization do, and how does it do it?

Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village strategy is a relationship-first method. This model transforms entire regions house by house, village by village, and school by school. It is among the most intensive household-level work happening in the entire developing world and is closely tracked for progress, sustainability, and overall impact.

We construct custom-engineered safe water sources and teach life-saving health and sanitation practices in local villages and schools in need.

Story

Your gift will help provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene training and infrastructure, and hope to families like Fatuma’s living in Dodola.

A Day in the Life of Fatuma

November 2022

Many families in rural Dodola spend their time worrying about their water source and the condition of their water.

Fatuma’s family lives in a village with a critical water problem, and things have rarely gone the way she wanted them to. For example, Fatuma works hard at home to provide for her family, and also owns a small shop for additional income. However, the shop needs much of her time and attention to be successful, but between fetching water and caring for sick family members, Fatuma cannot give her business the attention it needs to be successful. 

Fatuma and her family rely on the contaminated, unprotected spring for their water source which is located behind the fence of the school compound in their village. This is the only water source close to them, so community members and schoolchildren alike must share it. Despite the quality of the water they fetch, Fatuma knows that contaminated water is better than no water. 

“The water we drink often makes us sick,” Fatuma exclaims. “But how can we survive without food and drinking water?”

Fatuma has to make the trip to the unprotected spring at least three times a day to get water for her family’s needs. Because the source is shared with so many people, she often waits in long lines, losing time she could be using to take care of her house and run her business. 

Like many in her village, Fatuma could keep her kids from school in order to help relieve the burden of fetching water, but she places high importance on their education.

“I believe that taking advantage of every available opportunity to send children to school is like laying a foundation for their future. That is why I’m currently sending my children to school even though we have many challenges at home,” Fatuma said. 

Fatuma and her family believe that safe water is the key solution to relieving their current challenges, both at home and at school. 

When you give to Dodola, you give life-changing safe water and sanitation and hygiene practices to families in need. You enable children to stay in school and mothers to thrive in their endeavors.  

Dodola, Ethiopia

 

About the Region

Dodola, Ethiopia

 

Dodola, Ethiopia is home to 269,000 people.

Lifewater began serving in Dodola in 2019, focusing on communities with the greatest need for safe water access.

In Dodola, most families live in traditional mud-thatched homes roofed with dried brush from the surrounding forest. A majority of families rely on agriculture for their annual income, and water scarcity and water quality are among what the communities deem their greatest problems.

Water usage is exceptionally low, with the average household using only 13 gallons of water per day between five-six people. The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 13 gallons per day per person to meet the basic needs of a human body like hydration and hygiene and sanitation. This means that in Dodola, families are surviving off of what amounts to sips of water a day.

Gathering that minimal amount of water takes two hours and 12 minutes a day in the dry season. Women and children often travel to unprotected springs or rivers.

The contaminated water is dangerous for everyone, particularly children under the age of five years old. Their immune systems are still developing, and they aren’t able to fight illnesses like adults.

The good news is, this is entirely preventable. Lifewater’s work in the surrounding area shows that waterborne illness can be nearly eliminated with basic access to things like safe drinking water, proper sanitation, and washing hands with soap.

Children in Dodola need your help. Give safe water to Dodola today.

FAQ's

Am I sponsoring a specific village?

No. Your gift will help provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene for the Dodola region rather than one specific village, making it possible for Lifewater to reach families like this as well as their neighbors.

Will I receive updates?

Yes! You can expect regular updates on progress in the Dodola region. And, when the communities in the region are transformed with safe water, you’ll receive a story and photos from a family whose life is changed because of your gift.

Can I visit programs and/or my sponsored water project?

Lifewater has local staff that live and serve among the communities and schools where Lifewater works. Our staff know the language and the culture and are best equipped to serve communities. Because we seek to ensure sustainable water projects and community buy in, we do not allow donors to visit the projects they sponsor. However, we do commit to sending real-time updates, photos, and stories from the projects themselves.

Where does Lifewater work?

With more than 45 years’ experience, Lifewater is the longest-running Christian clean water charity in North America. Over those 45 years, Lifewater has worked in more than 45 different countries. Currently, our work is focused in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia).

Why these countries and regions?

Lifewater identifies countries and regions that are unreached and underserved with basic water access and sanitation, which means we focus on areas where other organizations are not serving.

Although great strides have been made in the past 20 years to solve the global water crisis, remote and rural populations still remain unreached with adequate water and sanitation. These distant regions are difficult and often costly for governments and NGOs to serve well. Many of these communities feel as though they have been forgotten.

Can I request a water project in a specific country?

Currently, Lifewater has programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Cambodia. You can go to lifewater.org/projects to select a specific water project to help. Because our programs are regionalized and made in partnership with the local governments, we are not able to take requests for specific water projects outside of our existing programs.

What percent of funds go towards programs?

Lifewater budgets 80% of expenditures for programs. The remaining 20% is split between administrative/management and fundraising expenses. This ratio is best in class for nonprofits and is why Lifewater has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator.

Administrative/management expenses are used to ensure that we are effective in managing the funds entrusted to us and include the following types of expenses: accounting personnel, leadership time, professional development of staff, external auditors, legal counsel, government registration expenses in every U.S. state, credit card fees for processing donations, bank fees, database maintenance, and office expenses.

Fundraising expenses generate the income needed to do the work that we set out to do. These include the cost of direct mail appeals and communication, marketing projects, donor relations personnel, and email communication systems. Last year, every dollar invested into Lifewater fundraising efforts resulted in $10 of donation for the organization.

Is Lifewater approved/vetted by 3rd party organizations?

Over our 45 year history, Lifewater has received the highest accreditations from the most respected rating organization in the industry. Lifewater is recognized as one of the top-rated charities in the United States by independent reporting organizations, including:

Charity Navigator (four stars)
Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)
Guidestar (Platinum)
Great Nonprofits (five star)
Excellence in Giving
Learn more at https://lifewater.org/top-rated-charity.

How does Lifewater integrate faith into its work?

Lifewater’s work is founded on the belief that every person is made in the image of God. It is with this conviction that we seek out the globe’s most unreached, marginalized people groups in need of safe water.

Both nationally and internationally, 100 percent of our staff are Christians. These Christian staff help facilitate Lifewater’s Healthy Church strategy in communities. And, where there are no churches, we work with church planting partners to start new churches.

To create Healthy Churches, Lifewater first trains church leaders in foundational theology. These leaders are equipped with the basic story of the Christian faith and the biblical mandate to love others. Leaders learn that stopping the spread of disease and caring for the vulnerable aligns with our responsibility as Christians to love our neighbor.

Second, Lifewater ensures churches have safe bathrooms on their premises, handwashing stations, clean water nearby, and the education to promote health within their congregations. It’s imperative that churches are early adopters of healthy hygiene practices.

Third, Lifewater encourages churches to help vulnerable households become Healthy Homes. Church leaders undergo a training to become WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) advocates in their communities. These advocates are encouraged to identify widows, child-headed households, the elderly, and the disabled to help them meet the health standards of Lifewater’s programs.

What is Lifewater’s process? What does the organization do, and how does it do it?

Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village strategy is a relationship-first method. This model transforms entire regions house by house, village by village, and school by school. It is among the most intensive household-level work happening in the entire developing world and is closely tracked for progress, sustainability, and overall impact.

We construct custom-engineered safe water sources and teach life-saving health and sanitation practices in local villages and schools in need.

Your gift reflects your trust in Lifewater International. We commit to honor your generosity by using your gift to help further the mission and vision of Lifewater International. Your donation is used by Lifewater International according to the project objectives to provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene within the specified program area. Lifewater International is a charitable organization as described in 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, registered in the United States. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Donations are non-refundable. Lifewater International will honor a donor’s request for any pre-approved program or project whenever possible. In rare occasions where this is not possible, gifts will be used where needed, in accordance with the organization’s charitable purpose. In accordance with this policy, donor’s explicitly release Lifewater International from further restriction on such funds.