When 13-year-old Sophea fell ill with typhoid fever, there was little that she or her parents could do to prevent it from happening again. Everyone in their rural Cambodian village used pond water for drinking and household chores. And because about a third of the villagers did not have latrines, open defecation was a common practice—one that essentially poisoned the pond.
High fever. Diarrhea. Headache. Aching body. Loss of appetite. Those are some of the symptoms of typhoid, and without antibiotic treatment, the disease can lead to serious complications or death.
High fever. Diarrhea. Headache. Aching body. Loss of appetite. Tiredness. These are the symptoms of typhoid, which is caused by consuming contaminated food or water and can last for up to four weeks without antibiotic treatment.
Sophea was able to visit a medical clinic and recovered from her illness. Yet, she remained at risk. Her mother began boiling the pond water that they used at home, but it was a difficult habit to sustain. Her parents are often occupied, working hard in their fields to grow cassava.
At Sophea’s school, conditions were just as harmful to the health of the 135 students and seven staff. There was no safe water there either, so students brought pond or rainwater with them to drink. The school bathrooms had been in disrepair for more than a decade.
Without intervention, better health was simply impossible for Sophea and her peers. But praise God, change finally came thanks to the generosity and prayers of Canadians like you.
After assessing the school’s situation, local Samaritan’s Purse staff provided hygiene training to its teachers, who in turn instructed students in healthy habits. The school bathrooms were renovated, and a large school-sized BioSand Water Filter was constructed onsite to provide safe water for drinking and handwashing. These larger versions of the household BioSand Filters can provide clean water for more than 300 people a day.
What we all-too-often take for granted is life-changing for Sophea: clean water that tastes good and makes her feel healthy. Having the opportunity to use a bathroom at school and wash her hands afterward also makes the teen feel much more comfortable during schooldays and helps protect her from falling seriously ill again.
Sophea gives thanks to God for how He used you and many others to make her feel strong and well.
“The water tastes so good and clean. It was really worth the time that I longed for it,” she said. “I want this water project to extend to other schools also.”
Through this project Sophea, other students, as well as teachers, also have the opportunity to hear the Good News of Jesus, who alone can satisfy our thirsty souls.
Christ cares for girls like Sophea, who are longing for the blessings of clean water and safe bathrooms so they can be healthy and stay in school. He is working through people like you to bring about transformation in their lives.
*Name changed to protect privacy.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, ESV).
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.