While Bethany Christian Services finds families here in the United States for orphaned children from Africa, the organization’s primary focus has shifted over the past several years to supporting local governments in Africa by providing best practices and training to help develop in-country social services to protect families and children. Our efforts include working in Ethiopia and other African countries to introduce foster-to-adopt programs—uniting orphaned children with couples willing to open their homes to provide care for these vulnerable children. Our hope is that after caring for these children that the couple will decide to make them a permanent part of their family through adoption. Thus far, progress across the continent is better than we could have imagined.
As I’m sure you are aware, the number of orphans in Africa is only one of the continent’s many challenges. Poor sanitation coverage and access to safe drinking water are also serious issues impacting the lives of so many—specifically sub-Saharan Africa where 70% of people do not have access to proper sanitation coverage and 61% lack clean water. To make clean water more accessible, organizations such as Blood:Water Mission work diligently to provide people in remote regions with the tools necessary to create new water sources or improve existing sources.
Blood:Water Mission recently concluded its ambitious 40 Days of Water campaign, so I was eager to speak with Mike Hamilton, the organization’s CEO, on those efforts and other projects scheduled to raise awareness and support for families in crisis. As you will hear, many positive changes are being made around the world when it comes to providing drinkable water. However, much like Bethany’s battle to ensure that every vulnerable child knows the love of a permanent family, there’s still much work to be done. As you listen to our conversation, I would urge you to think how different your life would be if you had to walk several hours a day to get water for you and your family . . .rather than simply turning on the faucet in your home.