Serving through Clean Water
Ndahiriwe Vincent is a pastor at the Methodist Church of Shori in the Shyembe Village. He and his wife, Niyonsaba Dancile, have two children; aged nine and five. They live in a rural area of Rwanda where clean water is uncommon. Vincent and Dancile knew the importance of clean water, so they used to boil their water before they used it. Even then, purchasing the fuel to boil water was expensive. And after treatment, the water still had a strange smell.
In addition to boiling water for their own family, on market day, they would boil water to give to passers-by who needed a cup of water. They would work for most of the day to have enough water prepared for everyone who needed refreshment.
But they were committed to serving clean water to their community. For a family that is dedicated to being leaders in their community, the effort was worth it.
When the Water Project came to their community, Vincent was working with World Relief Rwanda as a part of the Church Empowerment Zone model. At that time, it was decided that along with Water Project volunteers, church leaders should also receive SAM3 household filters. This was to make sure that they could understand the technology; provide an example in the community; and support their communities in accessing clean water.So, in November 2020, the family received their SAM3 household filter. Before taking the filter home, the family completed several trainings. As Vincent explained, “We were educated on how to clean and maintain the filter. Every three weeks, I clean the filter and make sure that there is water in the filter. When people don’t know how to clean the filters by themselves, they get help from the volunteers.”
When we spoke with Vincent in June, he told us, “Our family received it when we needed it, and the home next to us also uses our filter. We used to drink water from Lake Birira when we couldn’t access tap water. Even now, we still use the same water, but the difference is that now we filter it before drinking it or using it. We used to face problems of diseases like diarrhea attacking our children. They now have no water borne diseases. It was noticeable that my children are always sick, and they would sometimes skip school because of that, but now that changed.”
Not only are Vincent and Dancile sharing their filter with their neighbor, but it has also made providing clean water to the community on market day much easier. Vincent and Dancile remain committed to serving their community; and their SAM3 household filter has made it easier for them to serve through clean water.