Chivy knows what it’s like to miss school because of drinking dangerous water. Now, filters, latrines, and hygiene lessons have transformed her life—and given her hope for tomorrow.
When dry season arrived last year in Cambodia, Chivy’s* family had no idea they would spend nearly a month suffering from a terrible stomach illness. Eleven-year-old Chivy and her siblings missed school because of the sickness. Her parents were ill too and couldn’t work. The family’s meager savings quickly dried up as they tried to recover.
All of it was because of a small pond near their home. When the rains stopped, its waste-filled waters became their only choice for drinking, washing, and cooking—for everything. Chivy and her family would face sickness again unless something changed.
Safe Water at School
The first glimmer that life could be different came when a Samaritan’s Purse team arrived in their community. Equipped with gifts of safe water—like those you can give today through our Christmas Gift Catalog—they built a community BioSand Water Filter at Chivy’s school. The amazing, natural technology inside these large filters removes dangerous bacteria and parasites from contaminated water sources, making them safe to drink. Just one filter can meet the daily water needs of more than 300 people.
The team also built a four-room latrine and several handwashing stations for the staff and students.
This was the first time Chivy’s school had water and latrines that were clean and safe. With the support of school staff, our team members also began teaching the students about health and hygiene practices to help them stay healthy.
“After learning about how they could improve their health, the students changed their habits quickly—especially Chivy,” said Vay Sehn Chann, one of our Samaritan’s Purse staff members. “She is a bold advocate for clean water, hygiene, and sanitation in her community.”
No Longer Sick
Chivy’s life changed drastically. Now, she gratefully drinks clean water from the school filter and uses the new latrine confidently. She knows the importance of washing her hands regularly and helps clean the latrine alongside her classmates.
“Chivy no longer gets sick, and her studies are much better than before,” said Chann.
“My family did not understand the importance of hygiene and drinking clean water,” Chivy explained. But after teaching her parents all she had learned at school, they built a simple latrine near their home and requested a household BioSand Water Filter from Samaritan’s Purse. Now, her whole family is healthier.
New Life in Jesus
In the Bible, Jesus says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10b, ESV). Staff at the Samaritan’s Purse field office in Cambodia had the opportunity to share the Gospel with Chivy and many of her classmates as they taught health and hygiene lessons.
“Chivy realized that everything was God’s plan for her life,” said Chann. “She accepted Jesus as her Savior! She shows God’s love to her classmates. Her principal has seen how she treats others, and he is grateful for her.”
We praise God for what He has done in Chivy’s life and for how He uses your prayers and gifts of hope. Through your partnership, more children around the world will continue to know health, hope, and life abundantly, in Jesus’ Name.