BACK The Living Water staff celebrate the completion of the organization's 20,000th safe water project with balloons in the Stafford, Texas, office.

Giving Tuesday Changed This Rwandan Woman’s Life Forever

In November 2018, as Living Water International was approaching our milestone 20,000th water project, we reached out to incredible supporters to make this project a reality.

On Giving Tuesday, we asked you to help us raise $20,000 for our 20,000th project in Kabusheshe, Rwanda, and you responded by more than doubling that amount!

The community of Kabusheshe is located in the southern province of Rwanda and is home to about 400 people. Most of the 113 families farm for their livelihoods but still struggle in poverty. Residents previously collected water for drinking and daily chores from either a nearby swamp or a dirty stream.

For 86-year-old Nyiramyavu Gaudence, the water crisis was completely debilitating. Nyiramyavu first came to this community with her husband in 1952, and as long as she has lived there, the people of Kabusheshe have never had safe drinking water.

Nyiramyavu was overjoyed when drillers came to her community and shared her story with us.

“We have always fetched water from a nearby swamp,” she said. “You can see this water is dirty—brownish in color—and has worms and small tadpoles in it. When we got the water home, it was used for washing white clothes. They changed to a brown color, and no one could buy white cloth any more. When we bathed, we did not feel clean.”

The nearest safe water source was in a neighboring community over an hour’s walk one way and often had a long line. Nyiramyavu’s husband was killed in 1994 during the Rwandan genocide, and her children had all grown up and left home. She lives by herself, and because she struggles to walk, Nyiramyavu had no way to access even dirty water from open water sources nearby.

“I had to depend on other young people around me,” she explained. “If they were not available, I had to wait until they came by.”

When her grandchildren visited during the holidays, they were able to walk the long distance to access drinking water, but Nyiramyavu worried about their safety on the difficult journey.

A woman named Nyiramyavu stands outsider her house in rural Rwanda.

But now, thanks to the new water well right next to her home, she can gather safe water whenever she needs it!

“It is indeed Jesus Christ who has brought clean water near me. I see this water as a symbol of God’s love to me and my community. It is a gift that no one ever expected to receive. This water is very precious to my community and me,” Nyiramyavu said.

As much as our 20,000th water project meant to the Living Water family, it meant even more for Nyiramyavu, whose life will never be the same.

“Today I do not have to worry. The well has been a blessing to me, and even when my grandchildren return to school after the holidays, I can reach the water in my compound,” Nyiramyavu shared excitedly.

Someone from Kabusheshe, Rwanda, pumps water from the new water well, while other community members stand nearby.

“I thank God who provided the water and the donors who raised the money for it. I have no words to express my gratitude; I have nothing to pay them that can be equal to the gift and joy of having of clean water.”

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