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How clean water’s helping girls like Hawa

Water quenches thirst, brings health and sustains life – but did you know it can also help give girls their rights? Hear from Hawa to find out how:


Hawa, 10.

For years, Malian communities like Kita have been mainly male-dominated, with duties and roles being assigned by gender.

“Girls are responsible for domestic work, doing the dishes, maintaining the house and its surroundings and filling the containers of water,” explains Hawa.

Collecting water is one of the biggest challenges for young girls in the developing world. They often must embark on gruelling, lengthy and dangerous journeys to bring water back to their families – sometimes daily. Not only do these taxing treks keep girls from their classes, the often-contaminated water they collect brings home life-threatening illnesses, stopping even more children from making it to school.


“I would like there to be more fountains everywhere in the village so that the collection of the water will be easier,” shares Hawa, who dreams of graduating school and helping others secure better health. “When I will be great, I would like to become a doctor who treats people.”


New streams to achieve dreams

With your support, new water posts are making Hawa’s – and hundreds of other children’s – dreams possible.

“Now, thanks to Community Sponsorship, we have drinking water in our school!” she excitedly shares. “I am very happy to attend the school to learn,” says Hawa, who loves reading and vocabulary courses.

A father sits on a bench with his three smiling daughters.

A father for the rights of his daughters: Karim smiles with (from left to right) Hawa, Miriam and Fanta.

As a father of three girls, Karim, was eager to get involved in some of the new community projects, like the construction of the early childhood development centre and the maternity centre – both of which now have new access to clean water.

“As the masons build the early childhood development center, several of our parents go there every day to see the work,” says Hawa, recognizing her own father’s excitement and investment in the initiatives.

And though Karim is committed to bringing better prospects for his daughters, training and involvement in Community Sponsorship projects is helping change his own outlook.


“Plan teaches us about the rights of children. Despite our poverty, we must ensure the health and the education of our children and protect them. We learn to have view girls and boys rights the same,” says Karim. “I now attach more importance to the education of my daughters,” he adds.


“Since Plan International has worked in our village, people put themselves in groups to work, and women are more fulfilled thanks to the programs,” he says, explaining how girls and women have improved access to important services, helping them move towards more equally-weighted roles and responsibilities.

And, after seeing these shifts, Karim has the comfort in knowing his girls will have more promising, equality-filled futures to look forward to.

“We are full of hope,” he says with a smile.

A girl and boy collect fresh water from a new tap.

Bringing clean water to this community carries great weight, especially for girls.

Today, your contributions are relieving the burden of collecting water and replacing it with new sources of learning and opportunity – helping girls like Hawa tap into their true potential and letting fresh possibilities flow. Thank you!

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