In many ways, Rose’s story is the story of Save the Rain. Her family was the first to receive a rainwater harvesting system. She was the first of a generation of children who’d never have to walk for water.

Her older siblings had undertaken the three-hour mission twice a day, hauling water from a river muddied by a whole community’s use, and tinged brown with fluoride. Her older sister seemed to buckle under the weight of the buckets. 

Everyone knew that water at home meant health and wellbeing could flourish. When Save the Rain built that first tank, the family and their neighbors had the means to tend to their growth, and life came into bloom.

“A good person comes from a good foundation.”

She’s proud that hers is a home where everyone is treated equally. Boys are just as important as girls. Few other families hold this belief. Fetching water is women’s work, and their education is often sacrificed. 

Most girls aren’t as lucky to have a father like Rose’s. He brought home books for her, encouraging her voracious appetite for learning. She could count to 10 in more than one language by the time she was three. 

By eight, she had ideas for elected officials on making the country better: education, roads and transportation, health care, and access to clean water. As though sensing her destiny right from the start, she begged to go to a good school. Her father’s efforts were rewarded with a scholarship, and Rose thrived.

With water at home and exempt from school fees, Rose’s parents bought more livestock and built a biogas system that runs on manure, saving them (and the forests) from cutting firewood for cooking. 

Every development has manifested more abundance. But none more than access to clean water.

Madam President

Rose is 19 now and acing her A-Levels. She’s chosen Social Sciences: Economics, Geography, and Math. Her first ambition was to be an astronaut. She has always planned to soar to great heights. But as Rose counted the blessings that had made all the differences in her life, she realized she, too, wanted to help people. She thought about becoming a doctor but dismissed the idea because she could only serve the people in her community. It needed to be bigger. 

Helping comes from the heart, she explains. There’s a Swahili saying that translates to if you educate a woman, you educate a nation – and Rose embodies all the promise of this adage. Studying economics makes everything look profit-motivated – but she knows better; if it’s welfare-motivated, so much more is possible. With Tanzania’s first female president currently paving the way, Rose can count on our vote when the time comes to step fully into her power.