Water for the Oppressed (WFTO) is a faith based organization that provides clean water to the impoverished people of Zambia, Africa. WFTO drills new water wells, repairs broken hand pumps, teaches a health and hygiene curriculum, and shares the Gospel through Word and deed.
The initial visit by WFTO to the small community of Kachembele…population 200 found the hand pump had been broken for one month. The community attempted to repair the hand pump and dropped the hand pump into the well along with several chains and fishing tools. WFTO managed to fish out the lost chains, wire, and fishing tools. The community informed us that additional fishing tools were lodged in the hole so we abandoned hope of retrieving the hand pump. However, since the old hand pump was lodged in the well beyond 30m we simply placed a new hand pump above that pump. The new pump functions just fine and the community is thankful for the repair. WFTO shared the Word of God with the community and twenty people placed their faith in Jesus Christ. A Bible was distributed to each new believer.
Upon our first visit to the Sichula Village (population of 400 people), Water for the Oppressed (WFTO) found the hand pump to have been broken for one month. We removed the hand pump and found the pipes to be damaged. WFTO installed a new hand pump and replaced the concrete apron around the well. As you review the pictures please take note of the previous water source which is where the community draws water when this hand pump is broken. In addition to repairing the hand pump, WFTO provided a health & hygiene training inclusive of sharing the Gospel. The Lord blessed our time as 10 individuals made professions of faith and a Bible was presented to each new believer.
Water for the Oppressed distributed 70 feminine hygiene kits to female students. The distribution reached out to grade school and college aged girls with one goal in mind: enable the girls to remain in school during their monthly cycle. In many third world countries such as Zambia, the young ladies cannot afford to purchase such feminine hygiene items and miss school as a result. It is estimated that young girls miss up to two months of educational opportunities each year due to their monthly cycle. These invaluable kits, which can last up to three years, were graciously donated by our friend Susan Carroll, along with many dedicated volunteers in South Hill, Virginia.
Africa Vision of Hope School provides a Christian based education to some of the most vulnerable children of the local community. Water for the Oppressed distributed 247 pairs of shoes to the students. The headmaster at African Vision of Hope commented, “Now the kids will not have to enter the outdoor toilet barefooted.” The shoes will certainly improve each child’s hygiene.
Kachembele Primary School consist of 500 students (boys 240/girls 260) with six teachers. WFTO visited the school and found two wells but only one with a hand pump. The existing hand pump was working but the well-produced only a small amount of water and frequently ran dry. One teacher informed us that the students were frequently late to class and some students would miss class due to a shortage of water. The students are responsible for cleaning the outdoor toilets, wash classrooms, and replenish the water coolers within the school. So, in this particular case the students would spend a considerable amount of time waiting for water so they could complete their task. Water for the Oppressed investigated the second well (did not have a hand pump because community could not afford to purchase) and found the water supply to be adequate. WFTO installed a new hand pump, poured a new concrete apron around the well, provided hygiene training and shared the Word of God with the students and community.
WFTO distributed 137 Jerry cans to the Mwemba community which blessed approximately 75 families (420 people). The Jerry cans are five-gallon plastic containers used to collect water from the hand pumps. So often, we see old antifreeze and motor oil containers being utilized to fetch water. The new containers will definitely improve the hygiene in the community.
Claude and Leslie Bing with Water for the Oppressed (which has local connections) will be traveling back to Zambia this month and will be taking with them to add to their ministry personal hygiene products and girls dresses made in South Hill by Susan Carroll and some of her friends that are volunteering to help with this project. Not only does WFTO repair and provide water pumps for clean water in that country, they also teach people about personal hygiene and how to take care of themselves for a healthier life in an under developed country. This is just the first shipment and Susan hopes to continue to make the products with more volunteers as well as being able to send to other locations through various church ministries or mission trips as well as through the Gleaning for the World WINGS project. Pictured: Claude and Leslie Bing, volunteer Midge Shipley and Susan and Rick Carroll (who volunteers with Upper Room Ministries in South Hill). Lisa Clary Photo
Written By Lisa E. Clary
Sun Staff Writer
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