Community-led water projects transform Ugandan communities

By April 2, 2012

Uganda (MNN) — Living Water International has always seen clean water as the basis for better health, economy, education, and even a way to introduce the Gospel. The ministry launched a campaign last week though pointing out that although water is vital to community transformation, it's just the beginning.

"The way you carry out this work is as important as doing the work at all," explains LWI's Paul Darilek.

In Uganda, LWI is using water as the basis for a much greater community change, and they're doing it by using community members. Far from just entering a village, digging a well, and taking off, LWI is working to change these areas long-term.

Darilek says, "What we're featuring now is some ways that Living Water is involving communities in their own transformation: training leaders who involve the church, involve leaders from civil society, involve local school systems in teaching hygiene and sanitation courses, and incorporating that into the social fabric of a community."

Communities involved in this holistic ministry choose on their own to partner with LWI, knowing full well the Gospel focus LWI has.

As Ugandan communities begin to engage on every level with LWI, transformation is taking place. Not only do they have access to clean water, but they begin to take ownership of this new way of life by investing their own time and money into more projects.

With the church at center stage of the process, communities have begun to transform spiritually, too.

"Providing safe drinking water is such a life-giving thing that honors the God that gives us life. So then we involve church leadership, and then this social transformation–transformation in health, economy, education that results from water–becomes the face of the local church," says Darilek.

The best way to get a feel for the life-changing work being done is to see it. LWI has two videos here portraying their work with medical professionals, community leaders, church leaders and more. See the joy on Ugandan faces as they describe all that clean water, education, and the Gospel have done for them as they take ownership of it all.

You can get involved with LWI's current Uganda campaign, too. You can give of course, but LWI also offers other opportunities, including Team Living Water, where runners and cyclists can use athletics to raise awareness, funds and hope. Learn about all the ways to get involved here.

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