Since the age of seven, Ze’s been expected to collect water. 

As a young girl growing up in rural Madagascar, carrying water is not all Ze is responsible for. The fate of her entire family is in the water resting on her head.

On a typical day, she wakes up in the one room she shares with her parents and six siblings and heads out the door to fill up her jerry can. This means a walk to the only water source close by - a small, muddy hole next to the village rice field. It really looks more like a large puddle frequently filled with leeches, bugs, and bacteria. Ze peers in knowing this water can make her family sick - but what choice does she have?

Solo and Ze from Madagascar collecting water from a muddy pool. Ze (right) collecting water with her best friend Solo.

With a family of nine, Ze knows this isn’t the only trek she’ll make that day. She often goes to collect water five times in between farming and cooking to ensure her family has enough to eat.

Sadly, there’s little time left for school or play. So last year Ze stopped attending school. As the oldest girl in her family, she was needed at home to help care for the family.


Ze is featured in this short video about her best friend Solo.

This summer, you can flip her script. Help change Ze's story and those of 5,000 girls just like her by joining our #Girlstrong campaign.

Access to clean, safe water can help redefine girls’ futures. It means more time for school, healthier families, and the chance for kids like Ze to, well, really be a kid.

And that’s so important. Join us this summer and together, we’ll accomplish something huge. #Girlstrong.