Now Director of Development in the Anglican Church of Tanzania’s Rorya Diocese, Kelvin manages life-changing water, sanitation and hygiene programs in a number of villages.
The work is done by locals and the villagers feel a strong sense of pride and ownership of their new borehole, shallow well or micro-flush toilet. The local school learns about how good hand-washing, personal hygiene and basic sanitation can save lives.
“Rorya is mostly rural, with no really big towns,” he explained. “The people don’t have much to compare their situation with. It’s normal for girls and women to walk several kilometres carrying heavy water containers on their head, instead of the girls going to school. It’s normal to not have a toilet.”
Kelvin speaks of important things
Water is absolutely central to our lives - physically and spiritually. Giving people some control over their water source, educating them about the importance of clean water and good hygiene: these things make radical differences in not just their health, but in their whole community.
The Anglican Church of Tanzania in the diocese of Rorya is behind the water projects, in partnership with Anglican Aid. For some villagers, it is their first contact with Christians.
“Sometimes they ask, ‘Why does the church do this?’” said Kelvin. “They don’t understand why people care about them. It often leads to friendships and great discussions about life. It can create a more peaceful community. Participation in Christian things grows, because people have more time to investigate Jesus.”
Completed water projects genuinely change people’s lives today and into the future. Sometimes the projects happen in stages across a number of years and help build solid working relationships, based on shared goals, trust and Christian care.
Beyond Tanzania, Anglican Aid’s Waterworks for a Thirsty World projects in 2020 take place in Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Jordan, Pakistan and PNG.
Taking up the challenge
Everyone needs water and Waterworks gets everyone involved in fundraising: building awareness, working together, doing something out of the ordinary and attracting sponsors.
What will you do? Read here about some of the other challengers in 2020. Perhaps you will add your name to the list? There is an incredible array of resources to help you in your quest. Check them out.
The Archbishop of Sydney has committed to drink water as his only beverage for a week in the H2O challenge. The funds he raises will go towards the cost of installing a mechanised borehole in a village in western Ghana. Will you support him? Will you follow his lead? Click here.
In 2018, Kelvin walked 40 km over 5 days with a 20L container full of water on his head to fundraise for projects in Rorya Diocese. This was not just a tiring physical challenge - it was also socially challenging as water carrying is considered to be a job for girls or women.
“If a man carries water, he carries it on his bike,” Kelvin said. “For a man to carry it on his head is unusual.”
In 2020, Kelvin is planning to hike up Kilimanjaro to raise awareness, interest and funds. Will he reach the summit (almost 6,000 metres)? Stay tuned for more news.
World Water Day
The United Nations has declared 22 March to be World Water Day. It’s a great opportunity to remember that one day changes nothing unless we make an effort to bring clean water to the 780 million who do not have it.
Kelvin will return to his grateful family next week (and to the SGM soccer team - Sports Gospel Ministry - where he will play striker). And what will we do? Let’s not wash our hands of the problem.