A beautiful reminder of what true love looks like from a couple in rural Ethiopia.

charity: water
Feb 14, 2017 · 3 min read

Last October, the charity: water team spent two weeks in a community in Tigray, Ethiopia collecting more than four hundred individual stories about the need for clean water.

Over the course of that time, we met farmers, shepherds, students, and parents. Strong new moms. Inspiring entrepreneurs. We heard hundreds of powerful stories (which you’ll see on World Water Day in March). But there was one couple we couldn’t wait to share.


This is a community that, until recently, never had access to clean water.

Depending on the season, families here would spend hours every day walking and waiting in line to collect water from a nearly-dry river bed. In addition to the time burden, it was water that often needed to be filtered through cloth and could cause diarrhea and disease.

All of that can be a source of tension at home.

When people get sick, they can’t work or go to school. They can’t earn money for the family. At the height of the dry season, when collecting water becomes a full-time job for women in particular, everything else can get neglected (including husbands, children, livestock, meals, and laundry).


At a glance, the circumstances can make Lijalem and Alemtsehay’s relationship seem more impressive… 30 years is a lot of time together, raising eight children is a big responsibility, and a life that revolves around dirty water is exhausting… but what makes their love truly impressive is that it isn’t circumstantial.

It doesn’t only come in good times. And it doesn’t wane when things are hard or challenging.

I love every part of everything of him,” Alemtsehay beamed while admiring her husband.

And after spending an afternoon with them, there was no question that it was true.


Meeting Lijalem and Alemtsehay was a really beautiful reminder.

It doesn’t matter where you live, how you show it, or who you share it with… love is love. And love has the power to inspire and improve the lives of everyone around us.


Alemtsehay and Lijalem have access to clean water today thanks to an incredibly generous community of donors. But there are families just like theirs living in developing countries all over the world who don’t.

And you can be part of the solution.

We’d love to invite you to share the love too by joining our monthly giving program, called The Spring.

The Spring community, which now spans 85 countries across the globe, is committed to improving lives every single month. And no matter where you live, you can be part of it.

charity: water

Stories, thoughts and ideas from the team at charity: water.

charity: water

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We're a nonprofit organization on a mission to bring clean and safe drinking water to every single person on the planet.

charity: water

Stories, thoughts and ideas from the team at charity: water.

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