Photo © Courtesy of Water.org
By Kat Faulkner
On August 10th, 2021, I became a mom. A new role that was years in the making, it changed everything, including how I feel about the work we do at Water.org.
I’ve worked at Water.org for six years, so I know that the water crisis affects moms.
I am aware that around the world women are responsible for securing the water their families need to survive. I know the statistics—women and children spend 200 million hours every day collecting water. I know that a lack of access to safe water costs people living in poverty both their time and their health. I’ve met women living in the water crisis. I help tell their stories.
Now that I am a mom, now that I am responsible for a little human being, I “know” things differently. I not only see how important access to safe water is for moms, but I also feel it in my heart. I am acutely aware of the role water played in my pregnancy and the everyday tasks of being a new mom—bathing my baby, cooking for our family, doing the laundry, cleaning, not to mention my own self-care like staying hydrated and taking a shower. Without access to safe water in my home, none of this would be possible.
And not only that, the thought of using unsafe water in my home and potentially risking the health of my family seems unfathomable.
Mothering is hard work. And doing it without a basic resource like access to water at home—I presume even more challenging and exhausting. Add in the health risks, and it’s clear why the moms we serve choose to take out small loans for safe water and sanitation solutions at home. They are taking charge of getting long-term solutions and determined to do whatever it takes to provide their children with what they need to survive and thrive. They are changing their stories.
While pregnant, I thought about Grace. Grace walked long distances in the heat to collect water each day during her pregnancy. She took out a small loan to get a water tap at home, so she could “nest and rest” (as I like to call it) before her baby arrived.
In the exhausting newborn days, I thought about Sophon and her beautiful baby boy. I was thankful she now had water right outside her door, so she could heal from birth and care for her son instead of spend her days walking to collect water.
As I watch my girl splash in the bathtub, I think about how Liliana sought a solution to her family’s water crisis when her daughter was born. Now they have a bathroom for her daughter to bathe in too.
These moms were determined to find a solution that worked for their families. That’s a mother’s love. I get it now. I want the world for my daughter. I would do anything to make her feel safe, happy, healthy, and loved. And I’ve met moms around the world like Grace, Sophon, and Liliana who feel the same way.
Water is an essential part of every day and I’m more grateful for it now than ever. If we can help lift the burden of the water crisis for one mom, it is all worth it. And we’ve done that for millions of moms. That’s why I do what I do.
As a new mom, I’m now even more committed to our vision, to a day where all moms and their babies have access to safe water at home and the health, hope and opportunity it brings.
This Mother’s Day, I invite you to celebrate the strength of moms and the power of safe water to change their stories. Give to Water.org and empower moms around the world with access to safe water at home.