Mamona's storyGwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India

Mamona, a real mover and shaker from Madhya Pradesh, India embodies the true meaning of self-help.

Beyond installing wells and waterpumps, WaterAid knows that change results from what these movers and shakers can do over the long term. That’s why we work with local self-help groups and water & sanitation committees like Mamona’s to make sure community representatives – elected and usually a female majority – are responsible and accountable for keeping water and toilet systems working far into the future.

Now Mamona is respected by her entire community, and under her leadership the group doesn’t speak up for just safe water & toilets. She says, “First we fought for water but we also fight for women’s rights… now we can start all sorts of development!”

Better still, Mamona sets an example – and her neighbors are watching and learning. “Four new women’s groups have been formed this year because we have gone around and talked to other women in the area. Women are now demanding their own groups. They realize that once they are in groups, things start to change.”

It starts with safe water, but really – water is just the beginning. Donate today to help women like Mamona shake things up: