Dear Water” is a poem written and recited by Kenyan schoolgirls.

It’s an ode of gratitude to the recently drilled borehole in their community, which has freed up their time to attend school instead of walking long distances to fetch water.

In addition to giving them more time, the new water source has made their community cleaner and safer. About every 90 seconds, a child under 5 dies as a result of diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation, and unsafe hygiene practices.

Treating health issues like these is reason enough to be thankful, yet I felt a sense of gratitude for a different reason during the video – I was thankful for the poem itself.

It’s proof of an education that will give these girls a better chance at overcoming poverty, since every additional year of primary education boosts a girl’s eventual wages by 10-20%. Every extra year of secondary schools adds another 15-25%.

This poem suggests these girls will have less underage premarital sex and lower their risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

It means they’re more likely to earn income later in life and invest 90% back into their households, eradicating a cycle of poverty by raising educated children.

It will lead to reduced poverty in their community, more female involvement in politics, and more understanding and assertion of their rights at work and at home.

This poem reveals that poverty’s interconnectedness is also its weakness. By providing a community with clean water, we’ve not only extended the life & health of its children, but also opened the floodgates to life-saving education that is an integral part of eradicating poverty.

That’s why I’m grateful, and why I wholeheartedly agree with these precious girls:

Dear water, you are a blessing.

World Vision works to bring clean water to communities around the world in sustainable ways. In Ghana, even after 20 years, 80% of World Vision’s wells are still operational. Click here to add water and save a life by supporting World Vision’s #WaterEffect, or read more about our commitment to ensuring girls’ education around the world.


Defeat Poverty

Kenyan Schoolgirls’ Poem Captures the Impact of Clean Water

By Meredith Hastings