Allow us to introduce ourselves. Our names are Harrison Kane and Hannah Redmond. We are two interns at GPiH and we both go to Creighton University. This July we had the amazing privilege of joining Global Partners in Hope on the trip to Togo.
While we were there we had an opportunity to go and visit one of the rural villages outside of Agbelouve. Although the village was not far from the capital city of Lomé, the dirt roads were flooded in spots, dusty in others, and riddled with bumps and potholes, further isolating the village and making travel difficult.
As our vans pulled up, crowds of people formed with excitement to greet us. They guided us to meet the Chief of the village under the shade of a large tree, where they had a circle of benches and chairs set up for us. While we did not understand the French dialogue between Ian and the Chief, we found ourselves engrossed in the conversation, body language, and the intensity with which they were speaking. As they continued discussing, the whole village gradually gathered around us with curiosity of the purpose behind our visit.
From what we learned from our translator and guide, Kouami Koudawoo, the Chief spoke about the struggles of everyday life without access to clean water. The Chief explained that the water that they had been drinking came from a large puddle of rainwater that had collected in a field near the village. Their source of water is used for their livestock, for bathing, cleaning their clothing, and even for drinking. They felt blessed to have a water source within the village, however, they recognized that this water was not a great option as it is making the people sick.
As the conversation continued on with the Chief, the tone of his voice became more jubilant and we began to hear laughter and cheering from the villagers surrounding us. Kouami quickly leaned over to us and told us that Ian had said “This is the second time I have traveled to this village, and on my third visit it will be to celebrate a new water well!” The people of the village began to dance and sing.
It felt amazing to see so much joy and getting to be a part of helping not only the people we met but also the future generations to come. The reality is that the villagers were happily surviving, but with a partnership with GPiH, they will be allowed to thrive with access to clean water.
Please consider joining us to help other villages like this one, so that we can bring clean water to those that need it the most!
Harrison and Hannah