Cecilia’s Story Is One Like Mine

Design OutreachBlogLeave a Comment

By Dr. Beatrice Chisenga, Regional Africa Field Director

The story of 15-year-old Cecilia Leward and her family from Chikwangwala Village in Malawi has greatly impacted our Design Outreach (DO) team, both here in Malawi and in the United States.

Dr. Beatrice Chisenga, Regional Africa Field DirectorBefore receiving a LifePump in December 2020, Cecilia and the other children in her community had to walk a kilometer one way—often in scorching heat—to collect water for their families. They faced many dangers and difficulties on the long and lonely walk. The river where they gathered water was contaminated and lurking with crocodiles.

One day, Cecilia’s niece was gathering water at the river when a crocodile attacked her, and she lost her life. Cecilia and her family still face the grief of losing someone they love. This tragedy is just one of many dangers affecting the millions of children globally who struggle with water insecurity every day.

I know this from firsthand experience. As someone who grew up gathering unsafe water and risking my life and education to do so, I can attest to the fact that Cecilia’s story is not an isolated one. Millions of girls and children around the world face the dangers and difficulties Cecilia did. They risk their lives and sacrifice opportunities to simply collect water for their families.

I started collecting water as a young 5-year-old. The water was not near—it could be one to two kilometers away. One day in particular is etched in my memory. The other girls and I had to get up very early to go and get water. While on our way, we were chased by a man who wanted to abuse us. We had to throw the buckets off our heads and run for our lives so that we wouldn’t be abused. People are at high risk if the water is not near to them.

But we can change the story for children like Cecilia and millions of others! Working with Design Outreach, I am seeing how LifePump changes lives. A LifePump can reach water even during the dry season and can go three times deeper than other pumps, which means that they should never run out of water. The reliability of LifePump also assures people that it won’t break down, and they can trust that they will always have water to drink, to feed their animals and to water their gardens. Children, like Cecilia, can now go to school, as the task that used to take hours, now takes only minutes.

When we installed a LifePump in Cecilia’s village last December, we could not help but be touched by the hope and light in her eyes. Clean water truly has the power to change everything. By providing safe and reliable water through LifePump, we can bring light, life, and the love of Jesus to these children.

Thank you so much for bringing hope and light to children like Cecilia by supporting Design Outreach. Your generosity truly is changing the future for Malawians, and we cannot thank you enough for showing love, sharing hope, and being a light around the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *