TROLI- …Cookie’s Story

Fifteen years ago I traveled to Ghana, West Africa to serve on a mission’s trip with a couple who was building a water catchment system. During the visit I joined a group of young women who were taking their afternoon journey to obtain water.

Balancing plastic water cans on their heads, they walked more than a mile through the forest to a watering hole.  The water was the color of brewed tea, and large animals were standing and walking leisurely, ignoring the women.

Some of the women cupped their hands and drank the water. One of the women shared a few sips with the child that she had strapped to her back.

Several years later, I am in a village in Kenya, watching the same scenario. Young girls under the age of 15 are twice as likely as boys to be the family member responsible for fetching water.

Teen girls walk 2 miles round trip twice a day to a polluted pond or stream. Not only is the water dangerous to their health, the girls safety is compromised because of men who are hiding in the woods.

 With the many additional burdens that a lack of clean water brings, education becomes less of a priority.  Non availability of feminine products and water for hygiene care causes frequent absences from school. This sets up an unfortunate cycle of poverty and inequalities.

Willnette "Cookie" James
Founder/ Director
Tree of Life International Inc.(TROLI)

Our mission is to empower disadvantaged women and children around the world through literacy and skills training.