Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Running Water and Women's Freedom

For some reason it just hits me how great I have it, when I turn on the faucet and water at the perfect temperature and pressure comes out. We consider it basic plumbing, and we take it for granted. We can't go for an hour without the kitchen/bathroom sinks, dish washer, the washing machine, and a toilet. Life would turn itself up-side-down.

I've never had to walk down to the banks of the Merrimack River with buckets and walk back up to wash our clothes or bathe my children. Even when my family 'camps' we have a hot shower.

From Cardinal Dolan of New York

I was in the village with a delegation from Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the acclaimed international assistance agency supported by the Catholic community of the United States. We had just been enthusiastically welcomed to this small village to bless and start-up their new well, dug and outfitted by CRS.

The hundred-or-so inhabitants were all ecstatic over the new well . . . but the happiest, the leader told me, through the translator, were the little girls. Why? I inquired.

“Because up to now everyday was the same for them, as it has been for centuries of our women. The girls are the ones designated to walk the daily two-hour trek to the river, to fill up the buckets with water- – enough for their hut and family – - and walk two hours back. Each day, the men go out to the fields; the boys go off to school; the women stay in the village to care for their families . . . and the young girls ‘take the walk.’ They’ll do it until they marry and have a baby. The survival of the village depends on them. But this means,” the chief wrapped-it-up, “that they can never go to school. If they did, who would get the water? But now” he pointed radiantly to the jubilant girls, “they can go to school because we have good water right here because of our new well.”

From Catholic Relief Services:
Your support of Catholic Relief Services puts wells and pumps minutes from a family's doorstep. Not only is the water clean and safe, the wells free hours a day to improve family and community life. That translates into education for girls, profitable work for women, increased personal safety—and improved health.

No comments:

Post a Comment