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Children of Africa Learn at the Water School
Mary's Story

MaryWe published a TravelLog on chronicling the Water School's climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in order to bring attention to the daily struggles of clean water in Africa. The Water School is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide simple, safe, strategic, and sustainable clean water solutions to the developing world. receives email from all parts of the world including Africa. Mothers and teachers are using the internet to better learn how to enhance the quality of their families, students and children's lives.

Something as easy as taking contaminated water, placing it in clear plastic bottles and allowing one day of the sun's direct sunlight to make it usable and drinkable. Something so simple can do so much.

As children begin to practice the Water School Program, the results are almost immediate. School absenteeism decreases, health problems decline, school hospitals close due to a lack of patients, children's quality of life increases, lives are saved, and the fear of drinking water diminishes. Once parents and caregivers see the impact of clean water and improved sanitation on their lives and the lives of their children, The Water School program becomes a habit for health. Users become advocates of the program, training their peers and dispersing the message of clean and safe water.

MaryEvery year, approximately 3.5 million people die from inadequate access to drinking water and poor hygiene. One and a half million of these deaths are children, which could be saved if clean water was readily accessible. The most remarkable aspect of the program is that the results are lifelong. The program’s sustainability means that once the Water School Program is implemented, the recipients have both the knowledge and tools necessary to provide themselves with clean water for life.

"The Most Effective Vaccine against child death in Africa is a glass of clean water."
Kevin Watkins, UN Human Development report

Mary’s Story

I am Mary Nyiramategeko and I live in Kisoro District, Uganda. I am 60 years young, and I am a grandmother. I had several children, and they produced many grandchildren and I was very happy. In my country, children are a blessing sent by God to care for us in our old age. However, that has not happened.

HIV/AIDS came to my country and people started getting sick. So many died that many older people like me are now left to care for many children. Fred was born to my daughter, but both she and her husband have died of AIDS. I had no choice but to take him in and he has been now been joined by many others.

Fortunately, I have a garden that I work to supply the food for the family. Sometimes I dig in the field for others and earn about 1 dollar a day. However, the children and I were often so sick from bad water that I was spending all of my money on medicine.

One day, I was walking home with my bad water from the water spring, and I heard from my friends about the Water School program. They told me how I could learn to clean water very simply. I was very suspicious as it sounded too good to be true. Imagine! Putting dirty water in a plastic bottle and setting it in the sun for a day. It sounded strange to me, but I was desperate and my friends told me it worked.

The Water School provided a table and some bottles to get started and I tried it. Other friends gave me a water tank. Finally, I now have some hope in my life. None of us are sick any more from dysentery and cholera, and we are healthier because we are able to drink all the water we want. I can tend my garden and my children can attend their classes in school and are doing well. I can now see that perhaps my dreams will come true. Someday I will be able to rest and my grandchildren will be able to care for me.

About The Water School
The Water School (TWS) is a registered Canadian charity with a mission to provide simple, safe, strategic, and sustainable clean water solutions to the developing world. The Water School was founded in 2007 by Bob Dell, a water scientist, and Fraser Edwards, a businessman with decades of experience in partnering with indigenous leaders to implement lasting change.

Lack of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is the leading cause of illnesses in developing countries as it was in western nations one hundred years ago. Repeated episodes of waterborne diseases that cause diarrhea can push children to the brink of survival, leaving them weak and malnourished and unable to survive common childhood illnesses, let alone attend school.

Children and clean waterThe Water School provides simple, strategic and sustainable clean water solutions to the developing world. Our program integrates health and sanitation education programs with the Solar Disinfection (SODIS) technique which effectively changes contaminated water to safe-drinking water. The science of solar disinfection has been proven with over 25 years of research by the science community. Contaminated water is placed in clear plastic bottles and placed in direct sunlight for one sunny day or 2 cloudy days. The UV rays of the sun effectively kill pathogenic microorganisms making the water safe for human consumption.

The Water School programs help ease the burden of taking care of children for grandmothers such as Mary. Children are able to lead healthy lives and attend school regularly. By receiving continuous education, they get a chance at succeeding in life.

For more information on the Water School please visit their website on would like to thank the Water School, Fraser Edwards and Robert Dell for this information in striving to make daycare and childcare a more productive and efficient global service.

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