An update from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
by Ron Orcajada
Travelling through the countryside in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we get stuck in the mud going to Yema primary school where we recently installed a BioSand Filter.
At the school I spoke with 13-year-old Mida. In every school we work in, we conduct hygiene training. It’s part of my job to assess the outcomes of our training, so I always try to interview a few of the children. They remembered a lot of what they were taught, and I was happy they did.
I asked Mida, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Right away she said, “I want to be a doctor.”
Her parents are subsistence farmers. The odds are stacked against her. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the youthful glint, Mida, and all children have in their eyes when their special dreams are shared. This is priceless.
I am burdened for the DRC and children such as Mida. History, politics, belief systems, and the natural environment perpetuate the poverty cycle in the DRC. But by faith, I know our water projects are making a life-enriching difference for hundreds of families, and now, in seven more schools in this country.
I know our work will not change the overall situation of the DRC, but Jesus calls us to be faithful to his leading. So we persist by faith. With the faith I can muster, I pray for children like Mida. I pray that the dreams God plants in their hearts for a special future will become a reality.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Our water projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Samaritan’s Purse provides household BioSand Filters to the poor in rural areas as well as the larger-scale Samaritan Filters and new toilets to schools.
Thanks to Samaritan’s Purse donors, 2,000 more homes will have a filter soon and seven more schools now have a filter thanks to the work completed there in 2017.
Clean water does make a difference,” says Ron. “I visited six schools where we worked. The principals all shared two observations: That absenteeism has dropped considerably and that school attendance and enrollment has dramatically increased.”
The principal of Nsioni Secondary School said enrollment has increased from 240 students to 400 students since Samaritan’s Purse installed their filter and built new latrines.