Activist Faith

My friends at recently posted an inspiring story about efforts to bring clean water to a community in Ethiopia, building hope and relationships in the process. Clean water access is one of the most disturbing problems in our world today, and one I’ll be talking about more soon. In the meantime, enjoy their story and be inspired to share the hope within you today!


Creating Lasting Change in Hosanna
Failure. It can happen despite all efforts to make a difference in
people’s lives. God calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and yet
we can often hurt more than we help. Amanuel Sherifaw faced this
dilemma. Through Lifewater International’s WASH (water, sanitation, and
hygiene education) trainings, he discovered the importance of engaging
the community to traverse the minefield of deeply rooted cultural and
behavioral norms.

Once himself a child of destitution in rural Hosanna, Ethiopia, Sherifaw
persevered in his educational pursuits through all odds to serve the
poorest of the poor as the sanitation field manager of Ethiopian
Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus Development and Social Service
Commission (DASSC). Armed with UNICEF’s and WHO’s statistics–good
sanitation and preventative hygiene combined with clean water reduced
diarrhea, the most prevalent killer, by up to 65 percent, whereas clean
water alone achieved only a 15-40 percent reduction–he was on a mission
to hand out as many latrine kits as possible.

The post-project results were terribly deflating. “We gave out more
than 1,000 latrine slabs,” Sherifaw says. “When we went back, we found
out that many people had broken up the slabs to get the metal.”
Sanitation projects often end up this way. In some instances, project
leaders returned to see latrines used as chicken coops or storage sheds.
Or even worse, some were kept in pristine condition to display
thankfulness. When asked why they never used it, beneficiaries stood
shocked, unable to fathom defecating in a gift given to them.

Read the rest here…


BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith.
Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has
investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books
include Undefending Christianity, Not in My Town (with Charles J.
Powell), and Thirst No More (October). Discover more at

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