Boy, 6, hopes to save lives by building well in Ethiopia

AUSTIN — There are more than 1 billion people in the world without access to clean water, with millions of them suffering in Ethiopia. One little boy is making a connection to his early years in that country to help build a future for those in need.

In 2008, the Lamb family adopted Kaleb from Ethiopia. Now 6, Kaleb is a little boy on an international mission.

“I want to help other people,” he said.

Instead of gifts for his birthday on Jan. 25, the first-grader hopes to raise enough money to build a well near his former home in Ethiopia.

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“I asked my friends and family to help me,” he said. “Because I don’t want any more moms and dads to die, and people…and no more children, and moms and dads to die.”

Kaleb’s mother, Twyla Lamb, said this project is her son’s way of giving back and connecting with the life he left behind.

“As a little boy losing his birth family, losing his birth country, even though he gained a family when we adopted him, there’s still so much that he’s lost,” Lamb said.

In Ethiopia, women and children walk as far as 4 miles to small steams or puddles to find water.

“It’s contaminated, disease-ridden water,” said Lizzie Kovach, spokesperson for the non-profit Water to Thrive. “They drink that water, they use the water for cleaning.”

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Kaleb is working with the nonprofit agency to build the well. Kovach said his effort will help save countless lives.

“That well can serve up to 25 years for a community,” Kovach said.

Kaleb and his mother set up a fundraising account to raise $5,000 for his well project.

“I’ve been doing chores, and I’ve been helping my mom to get money to put in my savings and give,” he said. “They’re not going to have to get gross water anymore.”

Kaleb’s birthday is Sunday, Jan. 25. He hopes to raise the $5,000 by then. He said that would be the best present he’s ever received.

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