The 'Middle' actress recounts her amazing journey to Rwanda with World Vision.
Patricia Heaton wants to be a part of something bigger.
"We really take for granted what we have. Our kids get up in the morning and they have water to brush their teeth. They can fill the whole tub up with water for one person, and we don't think about it twice," Heaton explained in ET's exclusive tease of her recent visit to Rwanda. "But when you go to an African country and you can see the poverty around you. [Now], the water when it comes out of that tap looks so sparkling, it literally is like diamonds coming out of this faucet. That's how precious it is."
World Vision has been working in Rwanda since 1994, and worked for six years to build a water pipeline to bring clean water to the 3,000 people in Huye. Heaton and the natives could not have been happier to now have access to a better way of living.
And the stats are incredible. In 2017, 38,063 children received access to clean and safe drinking water, 53,173 children received access to an improved source of drinking water at their schools and 11,399 households received access to nearby hand-washing facilities. World Vision's mission is to bring clean water to everyone and everywhere they work in Rwanda within the next five years.
"When you bring clean water to a community, you're doing a lot more," the former The Middle star expressed. "You're saving women walking six kilometers a day, hours a day, to fetch water," noting that, "during that time they're open to violence, sexual attacks… they can't send their children to school."
While the lives of many people in Rwanda have changed for the better, Heaton, herself, was overcome with emotion and truly loved giving back.
"At the end of the day, an elderly man came up to me… he said, 'Madam,' and the only thing that I understood him saying was 'Thank you very much,' and I knew that he knew we were part of who brought the clean water to their village," Heaton shared. "The big celebrations are wonderful and I love them, but when it comes to one individual person -- and you see that you've just changed at least one person's life -- that makes all the difference in the world. That's really what we're built to do. We're built to help each other and by helping someone else it literally gives you life, it gives you health, it gives you hope and that's what we're supposed to be doing here."
Be sure to tune into Entertainment Tonight on Thursday to see more of Heaton's emotional journey.
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