Clean, Hot Water
Most of us take for granted the fact that we, as citizens of the U.S., have pretty much unlimited access to clean water. Unfortunately, many people also waste water – a lot of it – every day.
In other countries of the world, they are not as lucky as people in the U.S. Either they don’t have access to water at all, or the water to which they have access is not clean. Either way, they conserve water in a way that we do not in the United States.
That is the case where I live right now. The water that comes out of my tap is not quite clear, and when I am in the tub, I leave brown footprints if I put my feet up on the tub. I don’t drink water out of the tap at all, and cannot tell you the impact that the water has had on my hair.
I also am luckier than many other volunteers though, because even though my water is not that “clean”, I buy water for drinking. More importantly, especially during the winter, and for hygiene purposes, is that I have my own hot water heater in my residence. This is something that many people in this country don’t have.
For me, though, dealing with the water is a minor irritant, because even though it is impacting me now, I know that at the end of my Peace Corps service, I will get to either go back to the United States, or voluntarily go to another “developing” country to work. In other words, I know that this is a temporary situation for me. I have the luxury of knowing that I get to go home to a country where people take things like clean water and hot water for granted.
For the residents of the city, and country, where I live, this is not at all temporary. This is their lives – dealing with poor-quality water, and going without hot water is part of their normal life.
This is why I am one of the Peace Corps Volunteers who is doing a project that will bring hot water to the Internat school here in my city. The city’s Internat is a school where there are about 358 students, 20 of whom live there on a permanent basis, because they are orphans. The school also has 160 employees.
The school, unlike some others, has bathrooms with working toilets. What it does not have, however, is hot water in its kitchen, laundry room, or student shower. Imagine taking a cold shower in the middle of winter in an uninsulated building where the heat does not work well. This is what the students go through.
So I applied for a grant, for $500, to buy the school two hot water heaters and a water filtration system. This will bring hot water to the kitchen, so not only can it be used for cooking, but for cleaning and hygiene purposes. The second hot water heater will be installed in the shower room, so the students will be able to take warm or hot showers.
The reason I am writing about it in my blog today is not to say “look at how great I am for doing this” but to ask for help in funding this grant. I received the grant, but the more funding I can get toward it, the more grants like this can be done (like my primary organization, the library, which wants to get a filtration system to provide water to patrons during the hot summers).
I am attaching the link to the description of my project. At the bottom of the description is a button that says “Donate”. If you can give $5, $10, or more to help fund this, I would greatly appreciate it, as will the kids at the Internat.
Thanks for reading!