How will my gifts make a difference?
Your gifts each month will go toward meeting the most urgent needs of Compassion- assisted children, such as nutritional services, medical assistance, safe water and disaster relief. This vital program covers critical needs beyond what Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program can cover and offers hope to children who face a daily struggle just to survive.
Making Water Safe for Children
“Every time I am thirsty, I go to church to drink water because there is no clean drinking water in my house,” says Jimmy.
The 5-year-old lives in Manabí, Ecuador, a community so dry and arid that plants and trees don’t grow. It rains only a few times a year, so water is scarce. Families catch the precious rainwater in tanks but when these run dry, they rely on river water. Desperate, they are forced to wash, bathe and drink stagnant standing water for most of the year.
Compassion’s local church partners were constantly seeking ways to provide clean water to children and program centers. Initially, they hired water tankers, but they were expensive, and the water disappeared too soon. They needed a long-term solution.
Dismayed by the situation, Pastor Pedro DelHierro took action. His dream seemed audacious: a water purification and bottling project that all of Compassion’s church partners in the region could use. Compassion WaSH donors set the crucial project into motion.
As construction got underway, Pastor Pedro’s son Santiago still remembers their excitement at knowing lives were about to change. “The children had many gastric diseases. They had parasites, skin diseases and even anemia due to poor water quality, so we felt the need to implement this project,” Santiago says.
Today, the completed water purification and bottling plant filters more than 3,500 gallons of water per day. Purified by eight different processes, including carbon and ozone, the water is sent to 32 Compassion projects throughout the province. Through this, more than 7,000 children now have access to clean, safe water. No longer forced to drink dangerous stagnant water or unclean river water, the children’s health has improved. “Following the start of producing clean water for the child development centers, we have seen the reduction of stomach problems, parasites and skin diseases in the children,” says Santiago.
Three Compassion alumni are employed at the water processing plant. Leonardo, Cristian and Joel grew up attending activities at a CDC and receiving the benefits of the Compassion program. Today they serve in the ministry, distributing clean water to hundreds of children each week. “When I was a child, we drank rainwater and in the dry season, we didn’t have water. Many times, we drank dirty or stagnant water. Now, I am full of joy knowing the children can drink clean water and they no longer get sick,” says Joel.
After a day of fun at the Compassion center, many children bathe with the clean water before heading home, tired, happy and healthy. In this community, clean water is a blessing like rain in the desert.