The following post is by Steph Jimenez. Steph was an Intern with Opportunity International in the Summer of 2013
Our first instinct on a hot, humid day is to drink a cold, refreshing glass of water. We rarely think twice about whether it’s available. Faucet on, faucet off.
Though clean drinking water is essential for health, 780 million people have no access to it. Inadequate drinking water poses serious health risks such as tapeworms, diarrhea and viruses that lead, in some cases, to preventable deaths. Daily, millions of people across the developing world spend hours walking miles, fetching water. Time that could be spent on work or education is lost procuring and transporting water.
It is essential not only to increase global awareness of the water crisis but implement sustainable solutions. International nonprofits such as Global H20 and Lifewater provide sanitation, improve hygiene and supply water pumps for communities in need.
At Opportunity International, we recognize the danger unclean drinking water presents. And so does Rose Chisale. In Lilongwe, Malawi, Rose used her Opportunity loan to install plumbing and sell fresh water to her community. The plumbing allows local access to water, eliminating multi-mile treks. This saves her neighbors valuable time and money and spares them physical exhaustion. Rose’s dedication toward her clean water initiative has resulted in a better quality of life for herself and her community.
Opportunity International provides our clients with the necessary loans, training, and savings and insurance products to become financially stable. Our clients then share their knowledge with family, friends and community members. Rose’s story is a living example of this cycle.
Rose’s success would not be possible without the help of her loan officer, Tamala Nyasulo, who works with 350 clients in the Lilongwe area. Opportunity loan officers work hand in hand with clients and watch them grow as individuals and business leaders. Loan officers like Tamala help change the world, one client at a time.
Empowered with skills, capital and training from Opportunity, clients such as Rose Chisale become part of the solution to make clean water accessible to their families and communities, creating greater ripples of hope, health and possibility.“The Bible tells us that nothing is impossible. I like to have clients learn something new. It is exciting to see people learning. I learn something new from the clients. I teach them how to have respect for themselves and others. We all learn from each other. I teach them how to save their money in the bank so that they will be able to make investments in their future.” –Tamala Nuasulo