Lifewater Celebrates Important Milestone: 200 Healthy Villages
In 2015, Lifewater launched the Vision of a Healthy Village (VHV), a grassroots, community-driven approach to ending the global water and sanitation crisis, house by house, village by village, once and for all.
Becoming a certified Healthy Village is no small feat. There are significant requirements that demand participation from everyone within the community. In fact, when the idea of the Healthy Village was conceived, we were unsure if any village could achieve this goal.
Just a few years later, we’re celebrating 207 Healthy Villages and counting, and many people, from donors to community members, are excited about the transformation taking place among children and families who are vulnerable.
What is Lifewater’s Vision of a Healthy Village?
VHV is a community-driven, family by family, WASH program approach designed to create generations of change in the rural, underserved regions of the world.
To become a Healthy Village, a community must:
- Have a minimum of 90% Healthy Homes
- Contribute 10-20% toward the cost of the water source (through labor, materials like rocks and cement, or through a monetary amount)
- Become Open Defecation Free (ODF), meaning everyone is using a bathroom with a roof and a door.
- Elect respected community members to lead the village’s water committee and collect user fees for future repairs
- Have a certified safe water source constructed by Lifewater
Exhaustive research combined with over 40 years of service in hard-to-reach, poverty-stricken parts of the world has proven that real change happens when equipped and empowered families work together.
The process takes time, but like laying the foundation to a home, it is built to last for generations.
Community leaders have risen up to care for their safe water source, and local influencers are teaching life-saving sanitation and hygiene habits each day.
They are Healthy Villages, and today, they have clean water, more students in school, and more families thriving as God intends.
Healthy Villages by Country
With eight district-level programs across Ethiopia, Cambodia, and Uganda, more than 176,000 people are currently involved in Lifewater’s global programs.
Below are all 207 Healthy Villages separated by country.
Onward: The End to the Water Crisis, One Village at a Time
At the celebration of each new Healthy Village, communities host a party and invite representatives from the government for speeches, official certificates, and dancing. Everyone shares a meal together and rejoices.
Indeed, becoming a Healthy Village is an accomplishment worthy of a celebration.
“Communities can do so much if we walk together, train, encourage and equip them to take on big challenges,” Pamela Crane-Hoover, PhD, Chief of WASH Engineering, said. “We designed VHV to be a discipleship model, where our field staff walk together, in love and grace, helping vulnerable children and families live in the fullness of how God intends.”
Through the relentless compassion of Lifewater donors, over 200 villages are drinking safe water and living healthier lives.
Lifewater is currently actively serving 526 villages. By 2020, Lifewater is projected to have funded over 1,000 villages, villages that will then, by God’s grace, go on to become healthy.