People Fix Problems
Berenadithe ‘s home is high on the ridge above the Nyabarongo River in a village named Cyeru. Her eyes twinkle as she tells us about her life. Her husband passed away when she was 49-years-old, and yet even now, at 76-years-old, she still wears her gold wedding band. Over the course of her life, she has given birth to 10 children, but 6 did not live beyond their childhood. Currently, Berenadithe lives with her 55-year-old daughter and a granddaughter. It is a house of women in a harsh world. But even so, Berenadithe understands community and that people can fix problems.
Berenadithe and her daughter subsist by planting crops in the valley near the river. After working in their fields, they bring water home from the swamp near the river for drinking. Berenadithe never boiled her water, and so diarrhea and stomach pains were her constant companions.
That is, until Berenadithe and her family were selected by Masaka Water Project volunteers to receive a SAM3 Household Filter.
The change in health has been remarkable. Berenadithe says she no longer struggles with stomach issues and diarrhea. Filters have changed her life and the life of those who live around her.
However, filters have not magically fixed every problem that the community faces. Because technologies don’t fix problems – people fix problems.
Berenadithe’s home is a two hour walk to the closest medical center. So, her community must rely on each other to access care. Looking up into the rafters of Berenadithe’s home you can see a large oblong basket with openings for carrying poles to slip through. Bernadithe explains that the basket is the “ambulance” for the community around her. She keeps it in her house, and in the case of an emergency, members of the community will volunteer to carry a sick or injured community member to receive care – because people fix problems.