Ethiopia Diary Entry #2: What a Difference a Well Makes

Ethiopia Diary Entry #2: What a Difference a Well Makes

What’s in a Well?

Traveling to Ethiopia this summer, I was struck by several things.  But there is one image that comes to my mind so often.  Often as I’m getting a quick drink of water at the fridge, or washing my hands in the sink, or gathering clothes to throw in the washer.  The image of the strong and resilient women walking mile upon mile upon mile with 5 gallon jugs on their backs.  They walk to the river only to find dirty water.  They take the risk knowing that the water, which is essential to the daily-ness of life, can also bring disease.  And yet for their family they walk and they carry and they walk some more.

Often making the trip 3 to 4 times a day.  The locals explained to us that the walking has become somewhat of a social time for the women and yet I’m thinking, “does that mean they have to walk 5 miles, both ways, several times a day?”

What if water…CLEAN LIFE GIVING WATER was only a few yards away and plentiful?  How would it change the daily-ness of what the women do each day?  How would it change the disease rate that often accompanies unclean water?  How would it change the weariness, yet determination in the eyes of these women?

If we only did ONE THING, and put in ONE WELL for ONE COMMUNITY, the impact of that would be 10,000 people would have access to clean life giving water.

Let’s change the world, One Well at A Time!

What’s in a well?  LIFE!

Do you know someone who is making a difference at home or abroad? Are you involved in a project or ministry that impacts lives in a positive way? Tell us about it and see more stories on our Making a Difference page here.


  1. 2 years ago
    Lisa says

    Having spent 3 weeks in Ethiopia myself this past July I am especially struck by Sandy’s comment “these people aren’t asking us to come in and fix their lives” . This is so true! I was with a small team that taught English to high school students. These are the most hard working, humble, seriously fun people I’ve had the priviledge of meeting. They did NOT ask for anything but graciously accepted our small gift of service. I learned so much from them.

  2. 2 years ago
    Donna Galli says

    What World Vision is doing is saving lives and giving so many families the opportunity to have a healthy life and HOPE for their future. If America could really see what World Vision does in these other countries every child through World Vision would be sponsored. Thank you Sandi for sharing this video and the truth of what World Vision is doing to make a difference. We can partner with them and change the poverty in our world. God Bless You:)

  3. 2 years ago
    Sharon says

    I’m also interested in what organizations we can go through to help provide wells with clean life giving water, and what are the costs involved?

  4. 2 years ago
    Terri Hebert says

    Okay, so you mentioned clean water wells in Africa in the above narrative, but where can someone get involved? I am searching for a way to connect my students through a service learning initiative to this very thing. Do you know of organizations that do this and that would encourage small groups to participate in various ways? If so, I am definitely interested! Thanks!

    • 2 years ago
      Cindy K. says

      In addition to World Vision (, there is another organization, “CauseLife” that also focuses on clean water projects as their ministry ( Also, check out this link within Women of Faith for a recent article related to this ministry:


    • Samaritan’s Purse have water projects. Campus Crusade and their division, Power to Change also dig and install wells. Go to their websites and all the info will be there.

    • II’ve been involved in development ministries in Africa since 2003. I recommend the Water4 organization, a non-profit based in OIklahoma City. They use a community-based system for manually digging wells using locally appropriate technology. Their approach requires local investment and teaches local entrepreneurs how to maintain and repair the pumps using locally available materials. Their training fosters self-reliance, not dependency on advanced (and expensive) technologies or Western financial resources. Just this year, World Vision recognized Water4′s superior plan and record, and is partnering with Water4 to dig 7,000 wells in Africa.

      I encourage you to view their website ( and see how you can become inolved. I have met these guys and visited their tiny warehouse in OKC, and their methods are exceptional, from a development perspective.
      David Johnson
      Faulkner University

      • 2 years ago
        Cindy K. says

        David – thank you so much for the info about Water4 – my husband grew up in Oklahoma City, so we are thrilled with the opportunity to support this organization, now that you have made us aware of it. We are thrilled with the way the local people are a PART OF THE PROCESS of drilling and maintaining the wells – giving them HOPE, not a handout.