Foten Alem was married off at the young age of 15 and ended her formal education in grade 7. Now at the age of 22, she is a young mother of two children.
Foten was raised in a rural village with sufficient water near-by. However things changed when she was made to move villages after getting married to her husband who lived in Girdada- a rural that was in desperate need of clean and safe water.
Foten’s husband worked in the agricultural field and in other labor duties; leaving her with the responsibility of gathering water and other activities for her family. Foten often walked for hours with a jerrycan full of unsafe water, at times needing to take multiple trips
Foten struggled with her marriage and the traditional house roles; slowly she began to lose hope. Turning to her family and friends she tried to explain her daily struggles. However, the support and advice she was given only helped to solve a small portion of her problems. “Eventually my family and husband came together to purchase a donkey to assist me in the transportation of the water, hoping it would help save my energy and ease burdens at home.”
Despite being joyful about the new purchase of a donkey, walking for two hours was still extremely difficult and unbearable for her. Much to her surprise “after a few months my husband came home with the wonderful news that a water point was going to be constructed in our community,” refering to the the water pump constructed by REST.