The Her Initiative

I recently traveled to the Dominican Republic with Healing Waters International to bring awareness to their initiative to empower women and children – The Her Initiative.  As I’ve shared before in this post, when I was approached to go on this trip I wasn’t quite sure if it was for me.  I talked about it for weeks with Christian and prayed that the Lord would guide me to make the right decision.  Clearly the decision was to dive right in and I am so incredibly glad I did.  This trip truly opened my eyes to what some of our sisters are going through, and my heartstrings were pulled the entire five days I was there.

Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General said, “To educate girls is to reduce poverty.”  In summary, The Her Initiative works to provide clean drinking water to women and children and educate them on health and hygiene. The program is focused in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Rwanda and Uganda.  With clean water programs in place, these children will be healthy and won’t miss school, giving them a greater change at success.

Many women in these countries spend up to eight hours a day carrying water back to their families.  And this isn’t even clean water.  We actually made this walk ourselves, carrying water in buckets on our heads, and I was truly left speechless.  Tears were rolling down my cheeks afterward, as the female pastor of the village told us how blessed her community is and how she prays for our health and happiness.  Can you imagine being in her shoes and still having a heart full of gratitude and appreciation? 

Healing Waters International children of the dominican republic carrying water on head children of villa hermosa clean water initiative small boy in dominican republic villa hermosa children clean water for dominican republic the her initiative trip villa hermosa dominican republic carrie bradshaw lied mission trip

all photos by Jenna Kutcher

I could write a novel about the moments from this trip that made me clutch my  heart – how these children had never even brushed their teeth, how most of these women have their own child to care for by 16, how I saw toddlers carrying their infant siblings – but I know you guys have heard these stories.  I want to share how you can help, and how I plan to help.  We all have the resources, time and money that can make the difference for these women. For $25 a month, you can make a difference for her.  Think of what you spend $25 a month on.  A manicure, a Netflix subscription, movie tickets, a good bottle of wine… to think that sacrificing a movie date could give a child clean drinking water blows your mind, right?

Thank you guys for being so open and accepting to hearing more about this cause and why it’s important to me. We are all so incredibly blessed and we have the talents we possess because of our Father. He calls us to use our gifts for His purpose, and I feel called to use this blog as a platform to raise awareness for our sisters who need our help.

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.” 1 Peter 4:10-11

Thank you so much for reading this blog and for being a part of this experience with me. I need to go wipe these tears from my cheeks now, #crybabyKat. Love you guys, XO – 

PS – you can win one of these Her tank tops by following @the_her_initiative and tagging two friends in the most recent photo!

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17 thoughts on “For Her

  1. This is so beautiful Kat. I’m just speechless. Truly. What an amazing experience and what a gift it is to be able to share that with us and raise awareness for such a cause through your blog. I certainly plan on helping as much as I can – it’s absolutely insane how many lots if $25 I could give up, and what a huge difference this would make to these women and children. Much love to you! Xxx

    1. ADORE you Carly – you are truly the sweetest girl on the planet. Lots of love to you and your big heart!

  2. This is truly incredible and moving! It’s amazing what a simply amount can do for these sweet children! I would love to help as much as I can. This is such a great reminder of easily we can take for granted something such as clean and running water. Thank you so much for sharing this and being such kind women and inspiration!

  3. Kathleen, Thank you for your beautifully written and heartfelt story of the days we spent together in Santo Domingo and the villages around there. I loved getting to know you and your loving heart. Those are cherished memories. Sending love to you and Christian.
    Joyce A.

  4. Bless your big heart for having the courage to go through with this trip. It’s staggering, isn’t it, to realize the extent to which we are privileged as compared to others on this planet. Anything we can do to end this disparity is wonderful.

    1. I couldn’t say it better. Part of being blessed is using your skills for good and it was truly MY privilege to visit these communities.

  5. “Feeling blessed” is really just a matter of perspective, as these amazing people you were able to connect with show us. It is so easy to be consumed with ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ (especially in this media age) that we don’t appreciate everything we really have. We take having clean water at the turn of a tap for granted. I was fortunate to participate in several trips like this growing up, and I hope I can have my son do the same when he’s old enough, because it can really shape your perception of the world. Thank you for bringing more awareness to this cause.

    1. Absolutely love this comment – thank you so much for your realness. Love that you are experiencing this kind of work with your son – so meaningful!

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