Unreliable sources of water in rural communities can be devastating for children and their families, leading to life-threatening illnesses, diarrhoea and even famine. ChildFund sponsors have helped a young boy and his family in Zambia overcome these challenges.
Joshua is a shy nine-year-old boy from a remote community in south-central Zambia where, for generations, hundreds of families struggled to access water.
For Joshua, the water challenges in his community forced him to grow up too quickly, too soon.
Up until he was six years old, he spent most of his time looking after his two younger sisters while his parents collected water throughout the day.
His parents were out for hours at a time, and he would often have to soothe his little sisters when they cried.
“They would cry because they were hungry,” Joshua said. “I would try to make them stop crying. I used to hold my baby sister until my mother came, and give her some leftovers from the previous night.”