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A Teacher Explains the Importance of Water

Jean is a teacher. "I like teaching! I was always excited to be a teacher," he shares, his passion evident. Jean began his career in Kigali, spending several years teaching at a school in the capital of Rwanda and even meeting his wife, Marie, there.

Man and woman with three children

Before Kigali, Jean lived in the countryside of southern Rwanda. Both he and Marie grew up without safe water nearby, needing to spend hours each day walking to collect water for their families. He remembers that despite his passion for education, he would often be late or miss school because of the time spent walking for water.

After getting a job teaching at a school in the community of Shyorongi in Rulindo District, he opted to move from Kigali. They wanted to be back in a smaller town.

When building their new home, Jean and Marie decided to make an important investment –a household water connection. They knew the importance of water for their family and future.

"Water is important. You can’t survive without water. We need it in our day –need it to cook food, to wash dishes, to clean the house, to wash hands when you come from the toilet. You always need water," Jean emphasizes.

Thanks to Water For People, funding partners, the district of Rulindo, and the participation and commitment of the people of Shyorongi, the community had a new water system in place when Jean arrived. He could have a water tap right next to his home. This was an important factor in his decision making. "Everyone can wish to live here because of the water," he says.

Two children playing in water

When asked about the growth of the community, Jean’s answer is emphatic. "Yes! It is growing. You can see all of the houses. This is because the water is nearby."

With the safe water accessible, he knows the lives for his five children are much different than his own. They are growing up never needing to spend time walking for water. "When we compare our lives, there is a big difference."

Their eight-and six-year-olds are off at school for the day, but the youngest three are still at home. Thinking about their futures, Jean’s school teacher side comes out. "I want to give them good schooling, skills, and competencies."

Thanks to the safe water reliably available in their home, education can continue to be a priority in this family.

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