Meet 16-year-old Edna Laston. She lives in Ndombole, a small village in Thyolo district in Malawi, and she is in form one at Ndombole Secondary School. Before Edna’s village had access to safe water, Edna had to wake up early to collect water and do household chores before going to school.
“It would take me a lot of time to get to the borehole and when I got there, the borehole would normally have very long queues, so I had to wait for a long time before I could draw the water,” says Edna. “By the time I had done my chores, I would often report to school late and was sometimes sent home for this reason. By the time I got to school, I would already be tired and some of the girls from my village even dropped out of school because of these challenges.”
After learning about the lack of safe water access in Ndombole village, United Purpose constructed a borehole in the village in August 2017.
“Since the construction of the borehole in my village, things have now changed for me,” Edna says. “I spend less time going to draw water in the morning as the borehole is close by, and there are hardly any queues. I now manage to draw water, do house chores and get ready for school in time. My grades have improved as I can now concentrate more in class since I am not tired in the morning.”
Brimming with exciting plans and ambitions, Edna is now dreaming of a future where she will help lift other people in her village out of poverty.
“I would like to become a journalist, as I would like to tell the world about my village and lift my family and my whole village out of poverty,” she says. “I am now confident that this dream will come true as I now have no barrier to complete my education. Thank you United Purpose for bringing this development in my village – you have motivated me to continue with my education!”
This is one of the many examples of how United Purpose, with support from the One Foundation, is providing safe water access to schools and communities, as well as providing sanitation facilities to schools, and training students to become ambassadors of better hygiene practices. Through One Foundation support, UP is currently reaching 39,500 people, mainly children, in Malawi.