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Clean Water Restores Hope in Cambodia

It’s a stifling day in Cambodia’s remote northwest, and 10-year-old Chariya* feels the heat. Her thirst beckons to be quenched, but there are no chilled bottles of water waiting for her in a fridge, no faucet to gush out cold water into a glass. Today she has one choice – untreated pond water – and it will likely make her sick. Again.

Chariya’s parents spend most of their time working hard in the family’s rice and cassava fields. Meanwhile, Chariya does her best to attend school, but waterborne illness is a huge hindrance to her education. Fever and diarrhoea often keep her home instead.

Unfortunately – from a health perspective – school isn’t a better place to be.

There’s no safe water there either, and what is available isn’t enough for students to use in the school latrine and for handwashing. Instead of using the neglected, unlocked and sometimes-broken latrine, students opt to use the bushes behind the school for a bathroom. As a result, the schoolyard is smelly and unsanitary. Poisonous snakes also camouflage in the grass, posing a serious danger to students’ safety.

Chariya’s need, and that of her school, is great. And that’s where the generosity and love of people like you comes in. 

Through your gifts toward our Clean Water programs, local Samaritan’s Purse staff are reaching out to Chariya’s school and offering to help. We are training teachers in healthy hygiene practices and encouraging the community to rally around the school’s needs too. Locals are helping fix the school latrine, and Samaritan’s Purse is constructing a large bio-sand filter onsite so students and others in Chariya’s village can access clean water every day. 

When we bring clean water into schools like Chariya’s, students are often so inspired by the improvements that they want latrines built in their homes as well. Now, these students enjoy much healthier environments in both places. 

We praise God that thirsty souls are being satisfied with clean water. This year, we are planning to bring safe water to thousands more children living in rural Cambodia.

Bio-sand water filter changes lives

In another part of Cambodia, Kan Ry farms with his wife, while raising three young children. He travels almost four kilometres to collect water from ponds, shallow hand-dug wells and rainwater. As his family continue consuming the muddy water, Kan Ry is deeply concerned for their wellbeing. 

His family is facing immense health challenges, including battling diarrhoea, stomach aches, and constant illness caused by dirty water and lack of hygiene resources. 

One after the other, Kan Ry transports his family to the health centre for medical treatment. 

On top of expensive fees for medical care, he worries about his children’s education because they missed so many days of school when going to the hospital. 

A bio-sand water filter can transform the future of a family like Kan Ry’s. Through donors like you, Samaritan’s Purse is entering villages like Kan Ry’s to install bio-sand water filters and provide hygiene education that will improve the water quality for thousands of households. 

Kan Ry is able to attend hygiene and sanitation training sessions in his village to learn about waterborne diseases, how to use bio-sand water filters, and hand-washing techniques.   

Whether in a community, school or home, when you give safe, plentiful water in Jesus’ Name, He brings hope for a brighter future. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans… to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Support Our Work

Samaritan’s Purse is working to bring water to communities that are stricken by drought, disaster, or poverty. Your gift can help rehabilitate a broken well, install a rainwater storage system, dig a water pan, or provide a household water filter.

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