On the 24th of November, our team of nine embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. Some were coming to learn more about the Water for Life Project, some were coming to be able to share their experience and fundraise on their return, and others were looking for inspiration for their future careers.
After meeting each other and orientation, we made the trek down to Kibiti, three hours south of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Our first village visit was in Dimani, where we found the drilling rig. Here, we watched as children that were hiding from us and men and women watching from their homes or walking by, watched on as the drilling rig found water! It was an amazing moment as water sprayed into the air and the nine of us reflected on what this means for this village. They told us that they currently collect water from a few open hand-dug wells that are about a 30-minute walk away. The whole team decided to take the walk down through the forest. It was a challenging downhill walk and we all couldn’t imagine coming back uphill with a bucket in each hand or one on our head!
When we arrived, the participants were shocked to see a hole in the ground, filled with murky, white water with tadpoles and insects swimming in it. There had been a lot of rain so it was full, however, during the dry season, the closest water source is a 2.5-hour walk!
On our way back it bucketed with rain and GAiN Tanzania’s Country Manager joked that this was prime conditions for lions as we huddled under two umbrellas under a tree. On our return, one of the participants said. “This is enough of an experience for me to go home and raise funds for a well.”
We had many powerful moments throughout the trip. Another highlight was bringing over 100 reusable pads to girls at a secondary school. Students at Monash University, as well as volunteers around Melbourne, handmade each of the pads. The huge smiles on the girl’s faces were priceless. Some walk for more than four hours a day just to get to school! These pads will be a huge help to keep them coming to school.
On our last village day, one of the participants, a Power to Change student, shared the following: “We finished our last day in Kibiti on Friday with two highlights: visiting a well installed earlier this year that holds a special place for one of the participant’s family and visiting two local churches partnering with GAiN. These church visits were such a special time, as we were so encouraged by the people in each place, being able to hear their stories of how they came to faith. Most of them are from Muslim communities, so more often than not their decision to follow Christ leads to family rejection. Seeing their zeal and joy despite this was astounding, and such an encouragement for everyone.
He shared the following closing thoughts for the trip: “God is working powerfully in the nation of Tanzania, with eager hearts of people to see God’s word preached and heard by many, and the practical hand of Jesus empowering a new generation, lifting them from impoverished conditions to live more abundantly through the power of Jesus. We truly do serve a glorious, gracious God!!”
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