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The Girl Who Built a Rocket

The Girl Who Built a Rocket

Find out what inspired her and see how Fara’s mission to reach the red planet plays out in our new film, The Girl Who Built a Rocket.

Watch our film below.

An illustration of a starry sky with a faint shooting star.
An illustration of a starry sky with a bright shooting star.
An illustration of a starry sky with a faint shooting star.
An illustration of Earth and Mars.
An illustration of people walking with jerry cans in Madagascar.
An illustration of a starry sky with a faint shooting star.
An illustration of a starry sky with a bright shooting star.
An illustration of a starry sky with a faint shooting star.
An illustration of Earth and Mars.
An illustration of people walking with jerry cans in Madagascar.

While new spacecraft have successfully reached Mars, searching for water and paving the way for future human exploration...

Families like Fara’s still dream of finding water right here on our own blue planet.

Their long walks searching for water are a journey they’d like to leave behind – and when they can, their own horizons suddenly become so much bigger, what once seemed impossible is suddenly within reach.

That’s why our mission is here, on Earth.

This is Tantely

She’s 8 years old. Her name means ‘honey bee’ in Malagasy. Like Fara, Tantely is from a remote village in Madagascar.

Tantely, 8, standing inside her school classroom, Madagascar, August 2019.

Before Tantely's village got clean water, her family’s health and income, like many others in the community, were at an all-time low.

Small rice and cassava fields were their only source of food and they lived day-to-day with few big hopes or dreams for the future.

In Madagascar, it is usually women and girls who have the heavy responsibility of fetching water.

Tantely’s journey was difficult because it was uphill, and it was wet underfoot, making the ground slippery and dangerous.

Finiavana from Tantely's village collecting water from a dirty water source, Madagascar, September 2016.

Finiavana from Tantely's village collecting water from a dirty water source, Madagascar, September 2016.

Tantely, her siblings and a lot of children in her village frequently got diarrhoea from drinking dirty water. The closest health centre rarely had medicine available, so they often had to be treated with homemade herbal medicines.

If the case was really serious, the small amount of money they had was spent making the trip to the nearest hospital, 40km away.

Now, thanks to a simple network of pipes that use the natural gravity of the hilly landscape to channel water to five water points in the village, Tantely has water whenever she needs it.

It’s not rocket science, but it’s giving her the chance to change her future.

Tantely with her grandfather, Albert, Madagascar, 2019.

Tantely with her grandfather, Albert, Madagascar, 2019.

"I like school, my favourite thing is doing writing exercises. I want to be a doctor when I grow up. It is good now the taps are at school, it is different."

Tantely, leaning on the door of a toilet block in her school, Madagascar, 2019.
Tantely writing on the blackboard at school, Madagascar, 2019.
Tantely's grandfather, Albert, 67, holding a bunch of cassava roots, Madagascar, August 2019.
Tantely, leaning on the door of a toilet block in her school, Madagascar, 2019.
Tantely writing on the blackboard at school, Madagascar, 2019.
Tantely's grandfather, Albert, 67, holding a bunch of cassava roots, Madagascar, August 2019.

Like Fara, Tantely is a bright child with a lot of potential and big dreams for the future.

Tantely used to be late for school a lot because she had to collect water for her family in the morning.

But now, sometimes she gets to school before the teacher does!

Having clean water nearby has allowed people in the village more time to focus on their farming, to cut grass and feed their livestock, to plant and grow more.

Ernest, our Voices from the Field Officer in Madagascar, knows Tantely and her family well, and has seen how they’ve improved their lives since that day when they first turned on the taps. 

He said: “One of the biggest improvements I have seen in the village since the arrival of clean water is that families have been able to save some money and invest in something they wanted for years. Some of them have bought more chickens and piglets. Others have bought radios and some even now have TV.” 

Ernest, our Voices from the Field officer in Madagascar, stands at a clean water tap.

Our mission is here

Water doesn’t just enable us to survive, it gives us the opportunity to thrive. It enables us to dream - and to fulfil those dreams. But 785 million people still don’t have it. That’s 1 in 10 of us.  

At WaterAid, we work with communities all over the world, empowering people with the tools and the knowledge they need to access clean water and change their lives, forever.  

One day, every person on our beautiful blue planet will have clean water. You can be part of making that day closer. That’s our mission – right now, right here, on earth. Are you with us?