It’s a beautiful day in Timor-Leste. Joanina is attempting to arrange her three children in order of oldest to youngest for a family photo. Her husband stands on one side of them and she on the other. The family of five all turn to the camera, uncertain at first. But then, one-by-one, broad smiles start to spread across their faces.
The photographer catches the moment just before they all burst into laughter. It’s a really lovely moment.
There’s plenty to grin about in Joanina’s village. Thankyou’s impact partner, World Vision, are helping them to install a water tap so their community can have easy access to fresh water for cooking, cleaning and drinking.
“We feel happy and thankful,” Joanina says. “We are grateful because water is coming to us.”
You see, prior to World Vision’s visit, Joanina and the other women and children in her village had to walk for more than an hour each day to collect water. Sometimes, they would make the journey twice.
“Each walk, I bring four jerry cans to fill,” she says. Each jerry can carry about five litres. “Water is heavy. If there is no water in the water source, we have to go find other water.”
Now, Joanina will only have to walk a few metres outside her home to collect water. This means she’ll have more time to focus on things like growing vegetables and sewing scarves to sell at the market.
Her children will be able to focus on their homework after school instead of helping her collect water, meaning they’re more likely to graduate from school.
The family won’t get sick from waterborne diseases because World Vision showed them how to practice proper hygiene, such as washing their hands before eating.
Their lives have completely changed. And because World Vision involved the community in building the water system, they’re empowered to keep the system going long after we leave their community.
“Now there is water,” Joanina says. “All of us, men and women together, have constructed the solution to bring the water here.”
It’s stories like Joanina’s that reinforce a common expression used at Thankyou HQ: “Teamwork makes the dream work”.
We know it’s not possible to make our dream of ending global poverty a reality by doing it alone. Joanina getting water and her life changing came as a result of many people working together — our team, our suppliers, our customers, our retailers, our impact partners like World Vision and people like Joanina herself.
We’re all partners; one big team stretched across the globe, making magic happen.
And every now and then, we invite a new partner to join our movement. This year we’re lucky enough to be partnering with Sage x Clare, the homewares label that thoughtfully designs, curates and celebrates handmade, artisanal and bohemian wares from around the world.
So why partner with a homewares brand, you might ask. Well, first of all, we’ll always jump at the chance to work with people who celebrate the beauty of the world and put heart into everything they do. Sage x Clare’s soulful and eclectic homewares has become a staple for households across Australia and their pioneering spirit and dreamy aesthetic had us starry-eyed from the moment we met.
But on top of that, partnering up with innovative businesses who have the same values as Thankyou gives us an incredible opportunity to reach a whole new audience with our mission of empowering humanity to choose a world without poverty. This partnership means people who love Sage x Clare get something fun and beautiful for their home, while also having the chance to give back and join the Thankyou movement.
And the more people in our movement, the more funds that will go towards helping people to Joanina to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive.