Marlene is young, but she is already full of happiness and personality. The five-year-old girl loves to follow her mother, Ana Diana, around the village of Mocuba, a town in central Mozambique. She loves to dance and skip behind, tugging on the hand of her two-year-old brother as she goes. The
sound of her laughter alerts everyone in town that the happy trio is coming.
Marlene also loves to teach her little brother to wash his hands with soap after using the toilet and brush his teeth before bed. These are just some of the skills she has learned from her mother.
In Mocuba, such skills are lifesaving. Before ADRA installed a water kiosk to provide cold, clean water, families like Ana Diana and her children had to walk down to the muddy banks of a nearby river just to get water. The same river where people wash their clothes, dishes, and bodies.
Now, the family can walk just a few minutes to the ADRA water kiosk and drink water that will not make them sick, or worse. Ana Diana is so happy with the clean water, she decided to make it her work to tell everyone about it.
Now, the 25-year-old mother of two walks around her village as an ADRA Community Mobilizer to tell her neighbors all about clean water and hygiene. She teaches them the same things she teaches her children: how to wash their hands after the toilet, how to brush their teeth before bed, and how to gather and store clean water. She teaches them that water from the river brings sickness, and water from the ADRA Water Kiosk brings health.
And everywhere she goes, her children are close behind, laughing and playing and taking part in the demonstrations. Marlene loves the toothbrush demonstration most, because it means she gets to scrub
her teeth and make a mouthful of white foam. Even her little brother takes part in the activity.
When she grows up, Marlene wants to be just like her mother. “I want to help people,” she said.
Ana Diana is proud of her role as mother, both for her children and for the whole community.
“It’s important for mothers to be leaders in the community because it is the moms who know how to identify good water,” she said. “I hope that the community will remain protected from diseases”
Thanks to her hard work, her community is more protected than ever before.