Even when clean water is available, it often has to be carried a long way—sometimes many miles! This fun activity introduces children and youth to the realities of water accessibility for many children around the world.
Glass of water
One-gallon sealed plastic container filled with water
Potholder or folded dish cloth
SAY: Have you ever been really thirsty? What does your mouth feel like when that happens? My mouth gets dry and it’s hard to swallow. That’s why a glass of water can taste so good! (Take a drink of water.)
Where do you go to get water? (Let childrenname sources.) It’s pretty easy for us to get water, isn’t it? It’s as close as the sink or the refrigerator. But for many people around the world, water is scarce and it’s not always clean and safe to drink. Of every eight people in Africa, three cannot get safe drinking water. Look at our congregation here this morning. Imagine if nearly half of us couldn’t get clean water to drink.
Even when clean water is available, it often has to be carried a long way—sometimes many miles!
Do you know who walks to the stream or the well and carries home that water? In many villages, the children are the ones who fetch the water. It takes a long time, so many of those children don’t have time to play or to go to school. Let’s see what that might be like.
Invite the children to try to lift the gallon of water to see how heavy it is. Recruit an adult volunteer who will physically be able to support the weight of the water on his or her head. Explain that many people fi nd they can carry more weight if they put it on their heads. Use the potholder or folded dishtowel as a pad on the volunteer’s head and place the gallon jug on top of it. The volunteer should steady the jug with one or both hands to avoid an accident.
SAY: Many of the jugs the children carry are a lot bigger than this. Do you think you could carry that jug for a mile? (Let children respond.)
One way our offering money is used is to dig wells close to villages so people can have clean water without having to walk a long way to get it. Whole communities can have good water and the children can go to school. By giving some money, we can really help those people to have better lives.
Let’s pray. God, each time we pick up a glass of water, help us remember how easy it is for us to get water and how hard it is for others. Help us be generous givers who help other children to have healthy lives and a chance to stop working and go to school. Amen.
Source: One Great Hour of Sharing, 2006 and Church World Service, for congregational use