This post was originally published on water.org.
Four years ago, Water.org documented Rose’s story. At the time she had just taken a small, affordable loan to give her family a toilet and water at home. She explained why this loan was so important to her by sharing her story…
Rose dropped out of school after fifth grade. It is no surprise why she quit school so young as, globally, the daily struggle to secure water burdens mainly women and children. All too common in Rose’s home country of Uganda where 24 million people lack access to safe water, the daily chore of collecting water for the family landed on Rose. After spending most of her teen years as her family’s water bearer, Rose married young and had two children. She became a single mother shortly after the birth of her second child.
Poor and concerned for her future, Rose started a small business. Eventually, her business of selling charcoal earned enough for her to purchase a home. Rose worked hard to build a new life for herself, though she lacked something critical to survival. She had no toilet or running water at home. It’s hard to imagine raising children without these things. Thus, with her little ones in tow, Rose’s days consisted of selling charcoal at the market and walking long distances to and from her home to collect water.
Now, four years later, Rose’s smile is brighter than ever. The water from the tap she constructed with her small loan is convenient and saves her hours each day. No more walks for water. Now she can dedicate her time to work and to caring for her kids.
Her son and daughter are almost through primary school, and her charcoal business generates enough to repay her loan and sustain her family. With each sale of charcoal, Rose offers a warm, thankful smile to her customers. She shared, “My customers like my product, they always come back for more.”
Water.org’s solutions focus on empowerment through access to affordable financing. For millions of people like Rose, access to funds is the only thing standing between them and safe water in their homes. Water.org’s solutions focus on breaking down this financial barrier and bringing hope and opportunity to those in need.