Last year (2018), the community of La Fortuna Arriba was a recipient of Pure Water for the World’s WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) program. Jesus Perez and her family participated in the health and hygiene-related trainings, learning a great deal of new information. They received a BioSand water filter in their home, and they learned how to construct a latrine at their home.
“I have noticed an obvious improvement in the health of my family,” Jesus tells our team during a recent visit.
Jesus is excited to share that her daughter and the other family members no longer suffer from regular stomachaches and persistent diarrhea. Today, the only water the family drinks and uses to cook with is filtered water.
“It has now become a habit for us to only use filtered water,” she proudly reports.
Jesus’ older daughter, who lives in her own home now, was selected by community members to be a Community Agent in La Fortuna Arriba. Community Agents are local volunteers who act as an extension of the PWW team. They receive additional training and commit to supporting 3-5 families in the community with the correct and consistent use of their safe water tools and hygiene practices. They regularly follow-up with their assigned families to help troubleshoot any issues and reach out to the PWW team if and when they need additional support. Community Agents are invaluable to the long-term success of the safe water program.
Jesus is happy. Her daughter is the Community Agent assigned to her home. She is proud that her daughter comes to the home, as a formal supervising visit, to make sure they are taking good care of the filter and properly using it. She appreciates how much her daughter wants, not just her own family, but all of the families in the community to benefit from the program.
PWW does not build the latrines at homes. Instead, families are given instructions and materials to support the building of their latrines. The actual latrine construction is the family’s responsibility. PWW oversees the projects to ensure they are properly constructed.
Jesus is very proud of the hard work her family put in to complete the construction of their home latrine. The latrine they had before was in a very bad state and was unsafe to use. The family did not have the ability or financial means to repair it.
“Now, all of the members of my family feel confident with using the latrine every day,” Jesus excitedly explains.
The community school in La Fortuna Arriba also received a complete WASH solution, including a clean water filter in the school, gender-specific latrines with a hand-washing station (pictured), and teacher training. Ariana and her friends are able to drink clean water at home and at school, and they are able to exercise safe and healthy hygiene practices. Girls in their community now have a better understanding of their menstrual cycles, and they have a safe place to manage their cycles while at school, empowering them to stay in school to achieve an education.
Jesus and her family extend their sincere gratitude to the Pure Water for the World team and the generous donors who supported this entire project for the community of La Fortuna Arriba. They feel very fortunate!
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