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Why Water is an Oasis of Peace for Refugees: Oreni’s Story

When the threat of violence and war came to her home country of Burundi, Oreni was forced to flee without her husband to Tanzania with their four young children in tow.

Safe water is one less thing to worry about now for Oreni.

She says, “It took us two days to get to the border of Tanzania. It was hard because I had the four kids with me. We were on foot. We were very afraid because there were people looking for those who were fleeing, like us. But we made it to the border. It was terrible leaving home—we left everything we had and became refugees.”

When they arrived at the Nyarugusu Refugee Camp in Tanzania, Oreni and her children were frightened, exhausted, and very thirsty. In the days to come, they learned the hard way that the water source in their area of the camp was unsafe. Oreni says, “When we drank it, the kids got sick and some had to go to the clinic.”

But then Water Mission implemented critical safe water, sanitation, and hygiene initiatives in new areas of the expansive Nyarugusu Refugee Camp. Now Oreni and her neighbors have convenient access to clean, safe water and she has a sense of peace knowing that her children can drink and not become sick.

Oreni, pictured here with three of her four children, is relieved to have a safe water source close-by.

She says, “We have safe water here—the tap is just a few meters away. This has been very good for us because I have four kids and the water is safe. It tastes good! When we use the safe water, that sickness is gone and life is better.”

Despite her challenges, Oreni says she knows Jesus and she puts her faith in Him.

Now, Oreni has bigger dreams for the future. “Today, I dream about getting education for my children and to have a good place to live one day that is peaceful,” says Oreni. “I know Jesus and I believe in him. I am thankful for the peace that we are living in right now, even though life in the camp is difficult. Please open more water taps like this one so more people can be helped here!”

Over the past year, the global refugee population has swelled from 70 million to 80 million people who have been displaced by war, violence, persecution, or other emergencies and had to cross national borders for asylum and safety.

This Christmas, you can help bring peace to refugees like Oreni with the gift of safe water and the Living Water of Jesus Christ.

Give Safe Water


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This Christmas, make a gift in honor of someone you love, and bring hope, life, unity, and peace through safe and Living Water to people around the world.

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