Melanie Spradling 2021
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The continent of Africa was my first love (Asia being my second!). I planned my college major (International Business/French) and industry choice (Oil&Gas) around getting to Africa. Mainly because this continent had the largest number of people in extreme poverty, so I thought surely I could join Jesus in loving and serving there. Of course, we can show love in any place in the world or even on our own street 😊.
When I first heard Mike Navolio (Founder of Clean Water Climb) talk about Malawi and the need for clean water – probably five years ago now – I immediately thought of the similarities to the Rwandan rural areas I had visited before, but the situation in Malawi sounded like an even greater need for water: people using dirty or polluted sources or walking far distances. Many villages have water pumps, but they are broken. Meeting basic needs, such as water, food, and healthcare, has large and lasting ramifications to individuals and communities – it not only saves lives but also gives the chance for the child or individual to grow in other ways. Jesus knew the importance of meeting physical needs to open the way to meet spiritual needs.
Child Legacy International (CLI) is in Malawi, working to provide clean water, as well as medical care, education and school lunches, agricultural and vocational training, fish farming, and sustainability research, while also sharing the love of Christ. CLI estimates Malawi still has over 2.4 million people without access to safe water, and over 5,300 children still dying each year from waterborne illnesses (Clean Water – Child Legacy International).
The purpose of the Clean Water Climb is to raise awareness and funds for clean water in Malawi, which is still one of the poorest countries in Africa in 2021. We will be going to villages to help repair the wells and encourage the Malawian villagers as well as hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, all in the name of providing clean water as an act of love. I am so excited to support this mission of clean water but need your help! Each well repair cost $1,250 and can provide clean water up to 2,000 people!
Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, at over 19,000 ft (5,895m). I have never done a hike of this magnitude before and will need and appreciate a lot of encouragement, support, and prayers. I will pay my trip and climb expenses separately so your donations will go fully to providing clean water to the people of Malawi. All donations are fully tax deductible through CLI. ANY amount is appreciated! My current goal is to raise $5,000, enough for 4 wells. Thanks for being a part of it! And don’t think I won’t be praying and thinking of you as I’m hiking Mt. Kili for 8 days!
P.S. If you are a visual learner like I am 😊, I thought I would share additional info for you to ‘picture’ based on the water scarcity I saw in beautiful Rwanda since it is somewhat similar to the situation in Malawi – long walks or bike rides to the water wells are a daily occurrence for most families in the rural areas. Some villages still required 1-hour walks to a fresh water source or a long wait for their turn at a water source. Water is used for drinking and cooking and, if enough, to water a vegetable garden and livestock. There is no electricity. If someone cannot get to the water source on a given day, neighbors would usually help but that was limited. A family or single mother and children may try to eat raw food or cook it over a fire directly without boiling, but this has negative side effects of course, in addition to dehydration. The government and NGOs are working to improve water access and sanitation in the villages to be more like their cities.