Mari Tuji is a young mother from Kelecho Gerbi, Ethiopia. Until last year, she was the first in her household to wake up and get a jump on her main chore for the day – carrying water. She collected water from a contaminated, muddy river that her village also shared with cattle and goats. She carried 40 lbs of water on her back for two miles, twice a day – every day.

Thanks to Water1st supporters, Mari’s community built a water system in 2012. We caught up with Mari this summer and saw her enjoying fresh, clean water from a tap. Mari told us that because of the new water system, she felt safe to have another baby. And in honor of the project and her new life, decided to name the child, Chala, which translated to English means Better.