Meghan Markle helped bring clean water to almost 60,000 Rwandans

Almost 60,000 people in Rwanda now have access to clean water thanks to Meghan Markle's support.

Almost 60,000 people in Rwanda now have access to clean water thanks to Meghan Markle’s support.

The actress travelled to Rwanda in 2016 as a World Vision Global Ambassador to see first-hand the challenges facing many communities when it comes to finding safe drinking water.

Since then, the international children’s charity has been able to support more than 57,500 people with safe water to drink - and the community wants to say thank you to the future duchess.

We always remember the face of Meghan Markle, full of compassion and empathy when she was looking at children fetching unclean water. Since her visit to Rwanda in 2016, her contribution and similar contributions from other people like her, helped World Vision Rwanda to get funds to support more than 57,500 people with clean water. We hope to be able to reach every child where we work with clean water by 2024.

- Nicaise Ugabinema, Coordinator for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at World Vision Rwanda

While visiting a school in Rwanda in February 2016, she taught students to paint with watercolours using water from a newly-installed pipeline in their community. They created pictures based on their hopes and futures, which are now brighter because they can access fresh, safe water.

Those children have now congratulated the former World Vision ambassador on her upcoming wedding to Prince Harry, and wished the royal couple nothing but happiness.

Twelve-year-old Samantha recalled how happy she was when she met Ms Markle at her primary school in Kigali Province. "I hope that she will enjoy her beautiful wedding with the Prince and a happy future together," she added.

And Samantha is not alone in congratulating the happy couple.

Chancelline, who is now 10 years old, told World Vision, “I was so happy to meet Meghan when she came to our school. I really like her. I wish that she can have many children and a happy wedding.”

I think there’s a misconception that access to clean water is just about clean drinking water; which, of course, it is but it’s so much more than that. Access to clean water in a community keeps young girls in school, because they aren't walking hours each day to source water for their families. It allows women to invest in their own businesses and community. It promotes grassroots leadership, and, of course, it reinforces the health and wellness of children and adults. Every single piece of it is so interconnected, and clean water, this one life source, is the key to it all.

It was an amazing experience, taking water from one of the water sources in the community and using it with the children to paint pictures of what they dream to be when they grow up. I saw that water is not just a life source for a community, but it can really be a source for creative imagination, and how lucky I am to have been a part of that.

- Meghan Markle

Frank Muhwezi, East Regional Manager at World Vision Rwanda, said: “I thank Ms Markle for her big heart and generosity. Vulnerable children in Rwanda now have access to clean water both in their homes and at schools. Thanks to this amazing work, more girls have stayed in school, and we’ve seen huge improvement. I am so glad that she has taken a big step together with Prince Harry. I pray and wish happiness for both of them on their special wedding day.”

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