November 4th, 2019

Meet Amie – the INUK Intern!

Hi there! I’m Amie, 21 year old student on a placement year with university. I am interning with International Needs. I wanted to intern with IN to find out more about how they run, how child sponsorship fits in with international development, and to help them with fundraising in schools, community and youth groups. Earlier this year, I went on an amazing trip to Uganda to see IN’s work there with my church, St John’s Burscough, who are strong supporters of IN. It’s great now to be doing this internship.

I spoke recently at my church about the connection between Water Projects and Education; they are not separate development projects, yet two that are connected, intertwined and parallel. I have been asked to share my thoughts here…

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Imagine picking between education and water.

Imagine asking your child to walk two hours to collect water in the morning, when all they want to do is go to school and learn.

Imagine Eric, he is orphaned, he lives with his granny and four siblings. Eric is blessed to be sponsored so he can access education. Eric’s family relies on him to walk two hours every morning and evening to collect water to cook, clean, and drink, yet they also rely on him to get an education so in the future he can make a better income for the family. However, these long journeys for water can make Eric late for school, and when he arrives at school he doesn’t concentrate as well as he would like, because he is tired.

(Children collecting water from a water source)

This struggle is not imaginary though – it is a real issue for many children in Uganda and in other places around the world. The struggle to choose between education potential and collecting water, is a global issue, one that International Needs are set to tackle in the WASH and Child Sponsorship Projects.

We all know education is critical for breaking the cycle of poverty. Yet without access to clean water and basic sanitation facilities, many child and their teachers cannot go to school to get this education we all keep talking about.

Tomorrow morning teachers will not arrive to teach their class because they are sick, and students will not concentrate on learning and will not perform as well, because they are in pain from waterborne diseases. Not having quick access to safe, clean water deprives children of reaching their full potential academically, due to illnesses from unsanitary water sources.

(Well being commissioned/blessed for it’s service)

Female students struggle to attend school on their periods, as they do not have the resources to be sanitary in schools nor do schools have the facilities to keep sanitation private or safe. Not having knowledge on how to make sanitary pads, nor the income to buy these, makes the monthly occurrence something that limits opportunities for females. Lack of hygiene and sanitation in this situation obstructs the educational work of children.

(A team from St John’s Burscough showing females how to use and wash new sanitary pads)

Although there are many challenges – there is also hope. With International Needs providing support to families through WASH and child sponsorship, change is happening.

(Village WASH committee being educated)

Eric and his family now don’t have to choose between fetching water and getting an education. The WASH committee sunk a borehole 50 m away from Eric’s home, meaning now collecting water takes twenty minutes. This means Eric is getting the most out of his education as he is no longer late, and rarely sick as he has quick access to safe and clean water.

WASH and child sponsorship are connected, intertwined and they work parallel to each other.  Without one, the other cannot reach its full development potential. And it is seen in stories like Eric’s.

Eric’s story could be the case for many more children and their families, if we support, fund and pray for International Needs and their overseas projects. If you would like to make a donation to International Needs you can do so here.

Please email amie@ineeds.org.uk  if you’d like me to speak at a youth or mid-week group, a school assembly or any other engagement. I am happy to answer any questions about my time with International Needs and the work that they are doing around the world to help families create sustainable futures.

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