Water and birthdays

Lyos & Nika in front of a door

We love sharing the stories of those whose lives have been transformed through access to safe water and sanitation. From the #StoriesWeLove, this week we are pleased to share the story of Iyos. Through Water.org, Iyos and her growing family now have access to safe water at home. This means better health and many more happy birthdays for her children.

For women, the water crisis is personal. Each day they spend more than 140 million hours combined, collecting water for their families, for their children. It's not optional; it is a matter of life and death.

The brutal reality of the global water crisis was all too real for Iyos who is five months pregnant with her second child. Seven years ago she gave birth to her firstborn, a daughter named Nika. Iyos described her life while pregnant with Nika to be very difficult.

Iyos and her husband make their home in Rancalabuh, a small rural village outside of Tangerang, Indonesia. Access to water is limited in the village. When pregnant with Nika, Iyos was responsible for finding water for the family. She said it was so difficult and exhausting to carry the heavy vessels while with child. She also often worried about the baby's health because she never knew if the water was really safe to drink. Thankfully Nika was born healthy. And now, her seventh birthday party banner hangs over the home's doorway.

Nika's birthday banner

One of the top global health risks prohibiting children from ever seeing their fifth birthday is access to safe water and sanitation. Without, children often die from diarrhea and dehydration. Nika's birthday banner is a reminder that every child's birthday is indeed a celebration.

Having experienced pregnancy and birth without easy access to safe water, Iyos and her husband decided this second pregnancy was going to be different. They would take out a small loan to construct a water tap, providing them easy access to clean, safe drinking water at home. Iyos could not bear to relive the grueling experiences of her first pregnancy, nor could she stand the thought of Nika walking long distances to collect water instead of playing or attending school. This water tap was going to be the difference between what could have been, and now what will be best for their children.

Through Water.org Iyos and her family of-almost-four, now have access to safe water at home. This means better health and many more happy birthdays for their children.

This story was made possible by a generous grant from the Caterpillar Foundation.

To learn more about how you can help make every day water day for people in need of safe water visit WaterDay.org.

Population of 255.7 million
33 million lack safe water
100 million lack sanitation
43% of the total population lives on less than US$2 per day
Capital: Jakarta