Gertrude’s Story

A brighter future

Namakonkome Village, Gertrude and Peter– Imagine this scene. It is a water hole near a dirt road in rural Uganda, where people wash their greasy motorbikes. The animals have already drunk their fill, and now a 10 year old girl, Gertrude Namakon, fills a 20 litre jerry can with this same water, teeming with infectious bacteria. Meanwhile vital learning continues in school, regardless of her daily trek. Just like every other day, she has joined around 200 other Ugandan villagers at 6am and walked two miles across the fields.

Now she lugs the heavy jerry can home and finally she can go to school, to pick up the remnants of her education. All of Gertrude’s youthful energy is channelled into bringing home this water, which will inevitably infect her and her younger siblings with bouts of diarrhoea and dysentery, forcing them to stay away from school.

Just a Drop built a well and pump near Gertrude’s school, so she now has clean, safe water on her doorstep. Thanks to this, she is now determined to get an education. “It will make a big difference to my life. It will be wonderful to be able to get clean water from a well without being sick all the time. Now I can focus on my studies and perhaps even become a teacher myself one day,” she says. 

Gertrude, UgandaThe burden on Gertrude’s young shoulders, to collect the water her family need to cook, drink and wash in is not unusual and causes the absenteeism of an estimated 29 million primary school-aged children (the majority of them girls) in Africa. Hopefully, Gertrude is now one of the lucky ones.

Click here to read more about the project which supported Gertrude and her village.