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With Time on Her Side, Helena’s Dreams Can Become a Reality 

How Reliable Access to Safe Water is Transforming Livelihoods in Chikola 

Time is precious. With enough of it, people have the opportunity to achieve their dreams.  

For Helena, a 16-year-old in Chikola, Tanzania, time was rarely on her side. Like many women and children around the world, Helena was responsible for walking long distances to fetch water for her family. 

Every morning, she would spend two to three hours traveling from her home, standing in line, filling her jerry cans, and trekking back. This is time that could be spent receiving an education or chasing her dream of having a farm of her own.   

Helena has dreams of being a farmer in her community of Chikola, Tanzania.

“Girls in my community face challenges because they have to go fetch water before they go to school. So, most times, they are either late or unable to make it to school,” she says. “The water is very scarce. Sometimes girls are able to get to the well, but there is a long queue, and they are unable to get water in time [to get to school].” 

Collecting water so far away puts young women like Helena in dangerous situations. It also takes away valuable time from school and other activities. 

Like young women everywhere, Helena dreams of a prosperous future and knows that both time and access to safe water play an important role in her success. She says she loves her community and wants to stay there and have a farm of her own. 

Before her community received access to safe water, Helena would walk two or three hours each morning to collect water.  

“With farming, you have to go fetch water before you can work on the farm,” Helena says. “With water close by, you can just get the water and start working.” 

No matter an individual’s dream or aspiration, the gift of time and access to safe water play an integral role in a person’s future. 

Thanks to the monthly support from our Thirst Quenchers, more than 7 million people around the world have access to safe, clean water.  

Before Chikola, Tanzania, had access to safe water, women would retrieve water from a contaminated well.



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