Agnes* lives in rural Zimbabwe, where access to safe water is a daily challenge.

Thankfully, CARE has improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) access and practices in her village. Agnes has become a member of her school health club: a group for students to learn about proper sanitation and hygiene practices. CARE provides teachers with support and advice on the principles.

“I really like being in the health club because I get to learn about how diseases are spread,” Agnes said.

Collecting water is a task that is almost exclusively carried out by women and girls in developing countries like Zimbabwe. Agnes collects water from a borehole repaired by CARE 400 metres from her home. Previously, the 10-year-old had to walk further to a location that did not guarantee safe or clean water.

Funds raised from the Walk in Her Shoes challenge can help more women and girls like Agnes. With access to safe water and better hygiene practices, less children will die from diarrhoea which is currently claiming the lives of 1.5 million children each year.

CARE has worked in Zimbabwe for more than 20 years. Currently, CARE is working with the people most at risk of dirty water by protecting clean water sources, as well as constructing pumps, boreholes and toilets in schools and communities. Additionally, CARE reduces the distance between communities and their water sources. CARE works with women-led community groups, teachers and village health workers to better educate communities on the importance of washing hands, storing water safely and purifying water for drinking and cooking.

Wednesday 21 September. WASH project in the schools of Gutu District. Patience Chitumba, 10 years old, in grade 6. Member of her school’s health club. Filmed and shot walking to collect water from a borehole in Gutu District. The borehole serves more than 300 households. Image: Josh Estey/CARE

Image: Josh Estey/CARE

Agnes has a passion for health and hygiene due to her own experiences. She wants to help keep other people healthy. “When I finish school, I would like to be a nurse because I don’t want people to get sick. I want to take care of them.”

Because of CARE supporters, 86,754 people have benefited from the program, in 250 villages. People like you have helped build 160 toilets for people with disabilities and the elderly, and 229 toilets at schools. 236 important community hygiene education sessions have also been held, which brings about lasting change to entire communities.

Register your interest for 2017 and we’ll send you an email when the 2017 challenge starts.

*CARE is committed to being a child safe organisation. Names of children have been changed.