Her smile is truly as warm as the herbal tea she prepares each morning to sell from her humble home in Mysore. Past the mint and chamomile drying in the window one can see Nanda’s husband feeding and watering their dairy cow. Days didn’t always start like this for the couple. For years this time of day was spent focused on collecting water.
Like the other women in her village, Nanda rose before the sun to collect water for her family. After multiple trips back-and-forth to a distant community well, she eventually had enough water for meals, baths, and laundry. These hours Nanda spent to get water could have been purposed differently – she could have been selling tea and earning money for her family. After all, to attend school in their village required the purchase of uniforms and books. With only her husband’s income, the couple could hardly afford such items to send all of their children to school.
It is for Nanda’s time, for her children’s educations and for the family’s future, that Water.org created WaterCredit. WaterCredit makes small, affordable loans possible for people to finance their own water and sanitation solutions. This approach empowers people who otherwise couldn’t pay upfront to build a tap or toilet.
Now a water tap stands only a few feet from Nanda’s door, near her garden bed where her herbs grow. Though she was unable to offer her children safe water throughout their childhoods, Nanda smiles today. She smiles because her income selling tea affords her grandchildren the opportunity to go to school.