Elida stands behind the counter of the water kiosk she runs in Tsarahonenana village, Madagascar and smiles.

She's just one of the women providing clean, safe water – and building a better future for their families – through the water kiosks we're helping communities set up in rural Madagascar.

"My best moment was the first day we officially opened the kiosk, when I was selling water for the first time," she says.

"We had a little opening ceremony with some villagers – people getting water, buying things. I was really happy as everybody supported me and I was finally able to run my own business."

Elida, 26, water seller in charge of the kiosk in Tsarahonenana village, Madagascar.
Elida at work in the water kiosk she runs in Tsarahonenana village, Madagascar.

A hole in the ground

Hearing Elida's story, it's clear how much the bright blue building means to her – and why.

Before clean water arrived in Tsarahonenana, the community had to dig a hole in the ground to take water from the river, despite knowing people used the nearby forest as a toilet.

"All we got was bad smells, dirt and dirty water diseases," Elida explains.

The terrible impact of these diseases became clear when one of her daughters, Bertacia, was struck by a severe bout of diarrhoea when she was just a year and a half old.

"She had to be hospitalised for a week," Elida remembers. "Two days later, her illness progressed but treatment was difficult. There were too many germs in her belly, so she passed away. It was the saddest time of my entire life."

More than just a job

After such a devastating experience, running the water kiosk is more than just a job for Elida.

It's an opportunity to give her other daughter, Christina, the best possible chance of staying healthy, and a way to provide safe water to her family, friends and neighbours.

Elida and her daughter in Madagascar
Elida with her daughter Christina at the water kiosk she runs in Tsarahonenana village.

"Now we have safe water, it's better to have a clean and fresh environment, so I also help encourage communities to build toilets and avoid dirt from spreading," Elida says.

"Things are changing step by step. Now I'm confident that diseases from dirty water will no longer catch us. I’m sure that my one baby is not going to be a victim of diarrhoea as we are drinking safe water."

Help more communities like Elida's get the clean, safe water they need. Donate now > 

All in a day’s work

Across rural Madagascar, these women are also building livelihoods and transforming their communities through their work as water kiosk attendants.

Sahondra, at the water kiosk she runs in Madagascar

Ambohitsaratelo village

"I love doing this work. Taking care of the infrastructure is my priority, because having safe running water has changed our lives. I don't want us to drink dirty water anymore."

Sitraka, at the water kiosk she runs in Madagascar

Merinarivo village

"I love my community and I know they need someone like me to manage the kiosk. I'm providing safe water and they're having a better, healthier life. I'm really proud of myself."

Sidonie, at the water kiosk she runs in Madagascar

Lanijadona village

"Because I care about my child, I care about this water. It's one of the reasons I decided to accept the kiosk job. It also gives me the opportunity to improve my life."