Mothers around the world make countless daily sacrifices to protect and provide for their families. From caring for children to contributing to household income through activities such as farming, much of women's time is spent on work that often goes unrecognized.
The disproportionate weight of household responsibilities borne by women is especially apparent in communities that lack access to safe water. Collecting water takes many hours of valuable time every day. More than 2.2 billion people worldwide lack reliable access to safe water---and sadly, women are unduly affected by this crisis.
Water Mission provides safe water for communities in need, helping to empower women and families.
UN-Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equity and women's empowerment, reports:
"When safe drinking water is not available on household premises, the burden of water collection and treatment falls largely on the shoulders of women and girls. Where household members fall sick due to waterborne illnesses, it is mainly women and girls who provide the much-needed care."
"When safe drinking water is not available on household premises, the burden of water collection and treatment falls largely on the shoulders of women and girls. Where household members fall sick due to waterborne illnesses, it is mainly women and girls who provide the much-needed care." -- UN-Women
Leorbi Garcia, a young mother in the rural community of Tierra y Libertad, Mexico, is like many women who selflessly sacrifice for their children. Caring for her family of nine is no easy task. A lack of access to safe water made her role exponentially more difficult.
For generations, Leorbi's community collected water from nearby streams and wells. Unfortunately, the water was contaminated with dangerous microbes, which caused frequent illness. Seeking medical care for her family was expensive, and the costs depleted their already limited resources. The children were often out sick from school, and it was painful for Leorbi to watch them suffer from waterborne illnesses.
Women like Leorbi also face a significant loss of time, as they spend countless hours gathering water and caring for sick family members.
"For women, the opportunity costs of collecting water are high, with far reaching effects," UNICEF reports. "It considerably shortens the time they have available to spend with their families, on... other household tasks, or even in leisure activities."
Thanks to the commitment of friends like you to empowering women around the world, Water Mission was able to install a safe water system in Leorbi's community of Tierra y Libertad.
Clean, safe water now flows from tap stands throughout the town, easily accessible to each of the community's 1,600 residents. Water Mission also provides essential hygiene education, teaching skills like proper handwashing to help improve the health of families for years to come.
"The water we drink from the Water Mission [safe water system] is clean, and my children don't suffer anymore," Leorbi told us. "Now, they drink clean water. They stay healthy, and I have peace of mind."
Safe water access frees women like Leorbi from the time-consuming, exhausting work of collecting water. With more time and improved health, mothers can pursue education, employment, and their passions, and they can watch their children flourish. Families can enjoy time together with peace and use the restored time and income to invest in even brighter futures.
"With the Water Mission [water treatment system] here," Leorbi told us, "everything is better. Everything has changed."