WATER: E is for Education

Children reading in a classroom in India

A doctor, a poet, a farmer, a nurse…we know not what the future holds for these children. But, what we do know is today; they can go to school and get an education, instead of walk to collect water.

[Mysore, India - January 4, 2016] Early in the morning, a woman meets with an officer from Water.org’s partner institution, ODP. She makes a payment toward her microloan. 96% of WaterCredit borrowers are women, and the loans are repaid at a rate of 99%.

Through Water.org, their parents and community members were equipped with the financial solutions necessary to remove the barriers that once separated them from access to safe water and a private toilet at home.

Woman carrying water in India from behind [Hyderabad, India – January 2, 2016] A woman walks home after the evening water delivery in Rasoolpur. For this photo and more on India's water crisis, go here.

In a country where more than 77 million people lack access to safe water and 769 million haven’t improved sanitation, Water.org applied smart thinking to changing this.

Children peeking out of the schoolhouse window during lunchtime [Mysore, India - January 4, 2016] Children on lunchtime break, peek out their schoolhouse window to exchange smiles with Water.org staff.

For their community outside of Mysore, India – Water.org’s WaterCredit is helping make their children smart too. Like millions of other kids in India, their families took out the small microloans from Water.org’s partner financial institutions. In a way similar to how they’ve used their other microloans, their parents use the loan to fund a much needed resource – in this case a water tap, well, or toilet.

Mother ties her daughter's dress [Mysore, India - January 4, 2016] Just after breakfast, a mother ties her daughter's dress, preparing her for yet another day at school.

The affordable loans are why these children are in school. Once families were empowered to solve for their own water needs, they could focus on more. No longer are the children of this village at a high risk of water-borne illness. No longer is their time spent walking to find and collect water. With health and time on their side, they can go to school, get educations, and look forward to a bright future.

Capital: New Delhi
Population of 1.2 billion
77 million lack access to safe water
769 million lack access to improved sanitation
59% of the total population lives on less than US$2 per day