What are your options when things get tough?

The Secret of the Jerry Can

By: Herbert Wenk, Senior Expert Services, Germany

Clear water is a precious resource. Even in the Rwenzori region where rain is abundant. But only a few water taps for drinking water are available which must be shared by many households. The yellow jerry cans to carry the water from the taps are therefore a common sight also in the Acholi quarters

It happened one evening, that a mother ordered her young daughter to fetch the water needed for cooking and washing. The family was very poor and they only had one jerry can to carry the water in. The girl did what she was told, went to the tap, filled up the can and proceeded back home.

However, she did not realize that her can had several holes in it and some of the water ran out during her trip back home. When she finally reached home, about half of the water was gone. Her mother was very angry with her and scolded her, as there was only enough water left to prepare the meals.

Can you think about ways to help this family? What can the mother do? Remember, the family is poor and they cannot afford to buy a new jerry can! There are at least three strategies the mother can apply. Can you name them? Which one is the best and how could it be implemented?

This story is about waste of a precious resource. Could this also apply to you? What is your jerry can? Are you sure that there are no holes in it? How would you find them? Because you need to find them first before you can do anything about them – rather than just accepting things as they are.

VIMS a was developed to be your tool to find the “holes” where institute’s and relevant organization’s money runs out. So, you understand where it went – a necessary first step towards changing the situation to the better.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”