Stefanos believes in safe water and his children

Stefanos and family.jpg

Stefanos and his children pose for a family photo in front of their home.

Stefanos has always lived in his brightly-painted family home, passed down from generation to generation. Together with his grandparents, parents, and his children, thirteen people share the home. Stefanos’ family did not have access to water or a toilets in the home until recently. Though a hard-working teacher, he couldn’t afford to pay for either all at once. Stefanos was well aware of the health risks and health expenses associated with not having safe water or a private toilet, but with his teaching wages, he couldn’t afford the whole cost to connect to the water utility or build a bathroom. Water.org’s work in Ethiopia created a way for him to afford both, immediately.

“Every parent wants their child to have a balanced diet, a safe home, and safe water. I have worked hard to give this to my children because I believe their education is important. School is the gift I can give them if I give them everything else.”

In partnership with Water.org, a lender in Stefanos’ community called Vision Fund makes small loans available to families in need of water and sanitation solutions. Given the choice and opportunity to finance the water his family needed versus struggle day to day to find or pay for it, Stefanos knew this was a smart, affordable way for him to solve his family’s water crisis.

Imagine a teacher who couldn’t see his own kids to school each day because instead, they were off finding water, or worse, because they were sick from drinking unsafe water. A simple, powerful solution empowered Stefanos to change these realities that millions of Ethiopians continue to face today.

Stefanos sons.jpeg

Stefanos' youngest boys play outside with friends each evening after school.

Across the country people are paying large portions of their daily income for water. Whether they are spending time trying to find it or purchasing water from vendors, these costly, temporary solutions keep families trapped in a cycle of poverty. There are 62 million people in Ethiopia who lack access to safe water. Fueled by affordable finance, the solution Water.org brings to families in Ethiopia can save time and money for millions like Stefanos. Learn more about why financing works for families living in poverty in Ethiopia and around the world.