A LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Last year, I visited our African partner in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia where the need for clean water, sanitation, and hygiene training is greater than almost anywhere else in the world. Our partner had recently finished drilling four new wells – a project made all the more challenging by the fact that the area is exceedingly dry and arid. En route to the community, we suddenly found our way blocked by hundreds of celebrants singing and dancing. The crowd ranged from children shouting, to women singing, to men joyfully marching in formation; exhilaration filled the air. They were rejoicing because for the first time in the history of their community, they had access to clean water.
At the end of the celebration, I was asked to speak to the assembled crowd. I began to talk about clean water when an elderly woman interjected and said, “No, you don’t understand! This is not about water, this is about life! Life has been given to our community, to our children - this changes everything!” I will never forget the fervent look in her eyes and the passion in her tone.
Her words reminded me that our partners’ work extends far beyond each well. When individuals, especially those living with HIV, have reliable access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, it changes the entire trajectory of their lives. It gives them hope and a new future. When I see lives changed, I am reminded that this is what God has called us to in His name, and it’s why I carry passion for Blood:Water with me every day.
This annual report contains astounding results regarding Blood:Water’s impact in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); HIV/AIDS; and organizational strengthening in 2018, including:
• 19,381 individuals reached with access to clean water
• 103,496 individuals reached with sanitation and hygiene training
• 75,779 individuals provided with HIV prevention services
• 6 partner organizational strengthening assessments completed
We are exceptionally pleased with and inspired by the hard work that our partners have done to make these numbers a reality. What makes this data even more impressive is the fact that these numbers reflect long-lasting, sustainable change, not short-term fixes. We are humbled to know that each and every number represents a person with a name, a face, and a story; a person who now has access to the resources they need to thrive. Thank you for fueling this vital work.
Moving into 2019
While we have been blessed with much success in 2018, there is still great work to be done. We know that the HIV/AIDS and water crises can only be solved through the expertise of local organizations. These organizations must grow and feel empowered to conquer the issues they face. To that end, we will be focusing our efforts in 2019 on strengthening our existing partnerships through capacity-building, as well as selecting new partners to fuel even greater impact in Africa.
The thoroughness of our vetting process ensures that we continue partnering with professional, grassroots organizations that have the context and expertise to provide community-led solutions. We engage in our partnerships with a posture of mutuality, not an unhealthy dependency. In order to foster longevity, our partners must be able to carry out their life-changing work long after our partnership with them ends. This highlights one of our biggest challenges in the years to come: leaving our partners in a position to continue to thrive. Consequently, over the past three years we have developed an impactful organizational strengthening curriculum that we will continue to build and implement in 2019.
By investing in Blood:Water, you are walking alongside our partners as they tirelessly address the urgent need to end the HIV/AIDS and water crises. Your help is more crucial than ever to change lives in Africa, and we are so grateful for your support of our mission. It is one that continues to grow and be built up in love by the body of Christ.
Learn about the incredible partners we worked with in 2018
Supports improvement of personal and family hygiene, sanitation, early childhood development, and HIV/AIDS prevention and care in the Neno District of Malawi.
Supporting sustainable clean water supply and proper sanitation facilities development in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia.
Supporting families in Suki, Ethiopia, that are infected and affected by HIV through medical, psychosocial, economic, and educational programs.
Supporting access to safe, clean water and improved sanitation and hygiene practices in southern Uganda.
Delivering improved health and well-being through multi-dimensional services for the HIV-affected community in North Kamagambo, Kenya.
Improving access to safe, clean water and improved sanitation and hygiene coverage and practices in the Mityana and Mubende districts of Uganda.
Partnering with local communities to provide clean water, and promote improved sanitation and hygiene practices in the Nyamagabe District of southern Rwanda.
Providing holistic HIV/AIDS care through clinical and comprehensive community-based psychosocial services in Malawi.
Last year, our friend Abbie held a tea party with her friends and family to celebrate her birthday. But instead of receiving gifts, she encouraged her guests to donate to Blood:Water! Her initial goal was to raise enough to provide four kids with clean water for life. In the end, she raised enough to provide clean water for 18 kids.