At just 12-years-old, Bedris went to the local river to collect water after school.
It was near dusk, and hyenas were prowling. Watch his story.
"When I came home from school, there was no water at home. So I needed to go fetch water from a long distance."
Bedris's community used to collect water from the local river, a contaminated source that took hours out of his day.
"On our way back home, it was late in the evening when we came across the hyenas. The hyenas were chasing us, trying to catch us. We left the donkeys behind to escape by climbing up a tree."
"Up in the tree we cried out loud for help. The people nearby came after hearing our cries and saved us. But the donkeys were eaten. We were so terrified. The only option was to climb a tree nearby or be torn up by the hyenas."
The water crisis is dangerous for kids.
Tasked with collecting water from long distances daily, these young girls and boys are often walking alone, vulnerable to wild animals, trafficking, or other attacks.
After being traumatized from what happened, Bedris would only leave to collect water super early in the morning to avoid another attack. Little did he know a clean water project was coming to his village.
By giving clean water, you are helping protect the kids of a village. Keeping them safe. Collecting clean water from a new project right by their home. No need to walk far. No need to walk at night.
His village has a different story now.
Two years ago, a piped water project was brought to his community. (Learn how you can sponsor a water project in Ethiopia here.) Now, he proudly shares how the young boys and girls can go to school and not have to walk long distances for water. Or to fear wild animal attacks while trying to help their family.
The kids do not have to carry the same childhood struggles he did.
"We are happy because the youngsters are going to school with full confidence. Anyone that wants to learn, can learn. [Finding] water was our stumbling block for learning, but now we are okay."
Give today and empower kids to feel seen, be safe, and have better health with clean water access close to home.