We interviewed Krystle Inglott, who has worked with Azure for 7 years as the company’s HR Manager. Since a young age, Krystle always wanted to do missionary work and help children in some of the world’s poorest areas. She got to live out her dream and visit Ethiopia in 2012. Krystle tells us a little about her amazing experience and journey in one of the most populated places on the African continent, a country located in the horn of Africa.
When she was in Secondary school, she had a teacher who used to always collect money, stamps or any other second hand item to sell to raise money for poor children in Africa, and she always admired her dedication in helping those in need. This fueled her desire to do missionary work. A good friend of hers told her how she had joined the team of Living Waters, a group supported by the Catholic Church. They travelled annually to Ethiopia to help the poorest of the poor and Krystle quickly jumped at the opportunity to join.
The Living Waters Mission Team is a youth voluntary, missionary group whose aim is to raise funds to sponsor basic needs projects, for the poorest of the poor, who need aid, in developing countries. They have been helping the poorest communities in various parts of Ethiopia for the past 13 years, through various missions, with the focus being on building water catchments – a sustainable system which filters water directly from its source, in order to provide continuous clean water for the community.
There are more than a billion people in this world suffering from absolute poverty, not having the basic needs that we all take for granted – food, shelter, safety and clean water. This thought always made me feel uneasy, lucky in a way that I was born in the west, but feeling equally guilty that there are children starving somewhere while we waste more food and water than we consume.
Krystle spent 2 weeks in Arramo, visiting communities and identifying the areas most suitable to build water catchments. Also in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, she had the opportunity to spend time in clinics and a hospital which are both run and managed by nuns and funded solely through charity. Along with the sisters, she met with the youths, discussing the important issues of sex education and family planning. “…Many of us try to help less fortunate areas of the world through donations and many, like myself, decide to go and try to help the people living in complete poverty. I was blessed with the opportunity to be able to go and do missionary work in Ethiopia and during this trip, had to forgo many ‘essential’ commodities. However, amidst all the poverty, I was enriched by the beauty of the people, in both character and spirit and it made me question, who is actually the poorest? Us or them?..”.
What was the hardest part of this trip? During her time away, she witnessed, first hand the consequences that people had been accustomed to live in, by drinking dirty water that they had to collect from miles away. It was so tough to see children with swollen stomachs, due to the parasites. This just broke her heart. Most of their homes were destroyed and washed away by the rain, some were desperately trying to gather the few belongings they had, in vain.
What was the most rewarding part of this experience? She finished the trip by visiting Bahir Dar, where Living Waters had just finished a housing project of 55 homes, giving 300 people shelter. Before this build, the people had no homes and due to extreme regularly occurring storms and their often, flimsy wood, houses were continuously destroyed. This project and all the others not only gave them a roof over their heads and clean water to drink, but also dignity and above all – HOPE. Hope that life can get better, that there is someone thinking about them and they haven’t been forgotten, and that the future is not only hunger, unemployment, illness and disease.
Visiting Ethiopia and its wonderful people, I know now more than ever that happiness in life is not only about possessions, power and money but that peace within yourself, whilst making the more important things in your life a priority. The people you love, your family and your health are what true happiness is all about. Something we are all aware of maybe, but something we also all so easily forget from time to time.