It’s a stifling day in Cambodia’s remote northwest, and 10-year-old Maly* feels the heat. Her thirst needs to be quenched, but there are no chilled bottles of water waiting for her in a fridge, no faucet to pour cold water into a glass. Today she has one choice—untreated pond water—and it will likely make her sick. Again.
Maly’s parents spend most of their time working in the family’s rice and cassava fields. Meanwhile, Maly does her best to attend school, but waterborne illness is a huge barrier. Fever and diarrhea often keep her home.
Unfortunately—from a health perspective—her school isn’t a better place to be.
Maly’s need, and that of her school, was great. Every year, children like her miss 272 million school days from diarrhea caused by waterborne and hygiene-related diseases. For many others, these diseases are deadly.
Girls are at particular risk without good hygiene facilities, and many drop out of school. But the generosity, prayers, and love of people like you can change all that.
Through gifts toward our Water for Kids projects in Cambodia, local Samaritan’s Purse staff reached out to Maly’s school and offered to help. Teachers were trained in healthy hygiene practices. The community was encouraged to rally around the school’s needs too. With support from our teams, residents helped fix the school latrine, and Samaritan’s Purse constructed a large community BioSand Water Filter onsite so students and others in Maly’s village can access clean water every day.
Inspired by the improvements at her school and the hygiene lessons she received, Maly asked her parents to build a latrine at their home too. Now she enjoys a much healthier environment at home and school.
EVERY YEAR, CHILDREN MISS 272 MILLION SCHOOL DAYS FROM DIARRHEA CAUSED BY WATER AND HYGIENE-RELATED DISEASES.
Ever faithful to spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ, our local staff shared the Gospel through our Water for Kids program too. The spiritual parallels weren’t lost on young Maly: “My problem was taken away by having clean water and a latrine, but my sin is taken away by having the blood of Jesus Christ,” she said.
She asked Jesus to be the Savior of her life and now likes to read her Bible and sing worship songs in her free time. She also attends a small prayer group in her village every week. Praise God that thirsty souls are being satisfied not only with clean water, but also with “living water” (John 4:10, ESV).
As our teams work to reach 18 more schools with safe water this year, it is your prayers and support that make it possible to reach out to students like Maly with health and hope for a brighter future.
*Name changed to protect privacy.
A school-sized BioSand Water Filter provides safe water for more than 300 students every day. Since the first filter built in Cambodia in 2011, donors like you have made it possible to install 371 across the country.
Children at a Cambodian school like Maly’s drew pictures of the water filter at their school in order to celebrate World Water Day:
Your gift will help those who have no choice but dirty water, and will be used to provide a variety of water solutions and toilet facilities. Your gift will also train local church leaders to educate communities in good hygiene and sanitation practices, whilst sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.