Clean water, big dreams: meet Sailes


Sailes Chikasamba is a 14 year old from a small village in Malawi, with big plans for the future.

“I want to become a broadcaster and radio personality!” he says.

But this isn’t something he has always felt he could achieve.

For a few years, Sailes struggled with school – and not for lack of ambition. Getting up at 2am to make the long journey to the river to collect water, he would often return to his village after school had started and his teacher wouldn’t let him into class. Sickness from drinking polluted water would also keep him from his studies.

“The children would fall sick at least twice a month”, his mother, Jane, explains. “One child in the village died of cholera and the disease spread, claiming more lives.”

In response, UP worked with community members to install a water pump, as well as training members of the village Water Point Committee to maintain the pumps. The team also worked hard to promote better hygiene in homes.

“We are very happy now and I can see a bright future,” Jane continues. “The water is also helping us to grow our vegetables. I haven’t heard of any cases of sickness and Sailes is coming top of his class.”

Now with clean, safe water and much more time to study, Sailes can put all of his energy into making his dreams for the future become a reality.