The night before our team left Cameroon, we gave Martina, the daughter of the Chief of Ebasse a batch of coloring books to distribute to the Chief’s children. The coloring books attracted a crowd of the village’s children that far outnumbered the supply. While we were feeling incredibly embarrassed that we didn’t bring enough coloring books, Martina began piecing together a fair solution. She organized the children into teams of two and gave each team a coloring book and four crayons to share. The children happily colored with their partnered buddy; everyone was satisfied.
This moment is a small reflection of Martina’s intelligence and fair nature. Martina is a Pharmacy Attendant in the Bajoh area who prescribes medicine for water-related diseases and malaria. Although Martina is an incredibly intelligent individual whose skills could remove her from a village without clean water and toilets, she remains here. She remains in Ebasse to take care of her aging father, and because she wants to use her talents to improve the village she grew up in.
As we climbed Souweh Hill towards the project’s water source and saw all the digging, piping, and building the Bajoh people had completed for this project in the past 6 months, we were proud. Proud to know that Martina’s honorable nature was reflected in her fellow community members who wanted to contribute to their villages’ growth however they could. It is fulfilling to witness our donors’ contributions being matched by the labor of locals who want to be responsible and involved in their own development. It seemingly has been a wonderful connection for a parent and a child to have, for a child to be able to say, ‘My father connected these pipes and brought me this water. I can one day tell my children that my father, their grandfather, built us a better future.’
When we finally reach the top of Souweh Hill, we can smell the freshness of the water within the Souweh Waterfall; this is an untouched water source high in the forest that will continue flowing for another several hundred years. This is the source that will bring clean water to 6,500 people. It is incredible that after generations of being isolated from clean water, our supporters have made it possible for these villages to tell a tale different from their past. There are thousands of more people who want to secure clean water for their communities, but we can only do it with your help. Will you Live Below The Line with us?
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