When a clean source of water was found in Konkourona a few weeks ago, this young mother was among the first to take advantage of it. I can just imagine her making the trek to get water many times throughout the day with her baby on her back. I imagine what her life is like and see her strength as she waits while readjusting her sling.
One in two girls will be married before reaching the age of 18 and the average age for first time mothers is 19 in Burkina Faso, according to UNICEF data. I picture them living in the village of Konkourona without access to healthcare and I wonder how they will survive. Maternal and infant mortality in Burkina Faso is among the highest in the world, with each pregnancy bringing so many risks.
Construction of a health center in Konkourona started in January this year, with implementation of a plan to provide running water. Water was found about 700 meters (0.4 miles) away, a tower was erected, a trench was dug, and pipes were installed to carry the water to the site of the center. Last week, 40,000 kg or 44 tons of cement were delivered to Konkourona, and several strong men from the village unloaded 799 bags by hand. Today masons are relocating to the village to begin making bricks. Over the coming weeks, so much progress will be made.
By this time next year life in Konkourona will be forever changed as a result of the work we have all done together. Mothers, their babies, and all of the people in the village will have the opportunity to live longer, healthier lives. Thank you for giving so selflessly to support these efforts.