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'Drink the water without fear'

By Laura Reinhardt
Aug 5, 2013
Tom Costanza
Confiance walks to a nearby waterhole filled with brown filthy water. Confiance says the water tastes very bad, but her family has little choice.
©2013 Laura Reinhardt/World Vision
Confiance is a member of a World Vision WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) Club. She wants to prevent others from getting sick.

Confiance Usanase, 12, lives with her mother, a younger brother, and a cousin who her mother took in to raise. Twice a day, Confiance walks 30 minutes to get water for her family. 

Her village in Rwanda has a borehole, but it’s often not a safe place, especially for children. Men sometimes run the children off. Confiance also spoke of knife fights that happen there. People have to wait until the fight ends — sometimes as long as three hours before they can get water.

That leaves a nearby waterhole filled with brown filthy water as the only other resource. Confiance says the water tastes very bad, but her family has little choice.

Three times in her young life, Confiance has gotten so sick from drinking contaminated water that she has had to go to the hospital. She’s suffered from dysentery, diarrhea, and worms.

“You feel something in your stomach which is eating you,” she describes how her sick stomach felt.

Her younger brother also has gotten sick from water-borne diseases. She says, “It made me sad when my brother was sick because I have one brother. I think, ‘If he dies, who will I play with?’”

Confiance is a member of a World Vision WASH  (water, sanitation, and hygiene) Club. World Vision staff members taught the children in the club the correct method for using P&G’s water purification packets.

When she saw the dirt that collected at the bottom of the container during the water purification demonstration, she thought about the water she collects for her own family. “Sometimes you drink water you think is clear, but when you add the chemical you see that it’s not,” she says.

For Confiance, access to clean water all the time has become a reality thanks to the P&G water filtration packets she received through World Vision. She says, “It makes me happy. I drink the water without fear to (become) sick.”

Confiance has moved from trainee to trainer as she now teaches others the proper usage of P&G’s water purification packets.

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