One Gift Among Many
Obide and Chantal are parents to three children. Their family lives in a rural area of Rwanda, where both Obide and Chantal were born. Their family gathers dirty water from a nearby swamp. They share the swamp with their livestock and during school holiday, the children would play in the water as well. They had become accustomed to suffering from diseases like scabies, diarrhea, and stomach bleeding as just a part of their life.
Their youngest child suffered most acutely. She was born with an allergy, and would cough and sneeze constantly. They went to see the doctor three times a month. But the prescribed medication was not effective; it would help for a short time, maybe a week, after which the child could fall sick again. She coughed a lot through the night and had itchy allergies.
Then, in 2015, Obide and Chantal were selected by local volunteers to receive a SAM3 Household Filter. In 2018, while talking to Water Project staff member Charlotte, Chantal told her,
“We are so grateful for being selected to have a water filter, and now we drink clean water. Since that time, our lives have been changed.”
Now, they do not fall sick as frequently. And their youngest daughter’s health has improved drastically. Not only does she drink filtered water, but they also use it for bathing her. As a result, she has not suffered from allergies or a cough in the last three years.
They also share the water filter with three neighbors who bring their raw water for filtering. It has enabled them to have better relationships with each other. Chantal even took the time to teach both her children and neighbor how to clean and maintain the filter. That way, even when she is not at home, there is still someone who can take care of the filter and ensure there is always clean water for their family and neighbors.
The family is grateful to Friends Church, the health workers, village elders, volunteers and everyone else who played a part in enabling them to get a water filter for drinking safe water.