Two Friends from Africa Send Clean Water Back Home

Jan 26, 2022

Thought Question: Describe a social cause that you feel passionate about. Where does your passion stem from?

In Ethiopia, Anaa Jibicho’s two older brothers died from drinking contaminated water. His friend, Lamah Bility, walked three miles barefoot every day in Liberia to draw water from a river. His family boiled the water before using it.

Bility is 24, and Jibicho is 21. They met in elementary school after their refugee families moved to the US from Africa. They now live in the same area of Minnesota. But the memories of their childhoods still haunt them.

So, they’re determined to provide clean water to the millions who need it. The two young men started a water bottle company in 2020 called Didomi (Greek for “to give”). 50% of its proceeds go to the nonprofit WaterIsLife. The group provides clean drinking water to people around the world. Didomi sells reusable bottles. Each one brings 10 years of access to clean water for someone who needs it.

The two men remember their childhood struggles to put a human face on the lack of safe drinking water. “It’s critical for us to tell our stories,” says Jibicho. As a 2-year-old he became ill from bad drinking water. Fortunately, his parents took him to Kenya. There, he received life-saving treatment. “People typically see numbers and they don’t really know what that means,” he adds. “Those numbers are real people.” 

Photo from Didomi.

Which of the following issues does the article highlight? (Common Core RI.5.3; RI.6.3)
a. Refugees from Ethiopia and Liberia can have a difficult time moving to the US.
b. Millions of people in Africa lack access to clean drinking water.
c. People have better access to clean drinking water in Kenya than in Ethiopia or Liberia.
d. Refugees from African countries mostly settle in Minnesota.
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