There are 250 Saint Vincent Pallotti School students and their families in the village of Cyeshero, in the Ruhango, Rwanda community. These numbers are based on the average of the people in the nearest households and the number of students at the school.
There are also an estimated 50 additional people in families outside of the immediate community, who will use this well too, utilizing it as a water source for the outside surrounding areas.
The water situation is not good for this school and community. The school kids rely on the rainwater catchment system shown above, but it does not rain enough to collect much water, so during times of the year, there is little to no water in the storage tank. And any water that is collected is still dirty. There is no filtration and the gutters and roof are in disrepair.
There is no clean water within walking distance. Students are still getting waterborne illnesses from this water source and the surface water that they must use for their daily water. When there is no water in the holding tank, students and women must walk several kilometers to find surface water. This task causes students to be late for school or to miss school entirely. Illnesses such as dysentery, typhoid and cholera are common in this community. Hard-to-earn money is being spent on medicine, instead of being invested in their families.
Our partner, Living Water International, has a WASH (Water and Sanitation/Hygiene) Program Area (WPA) approach that is unique. It aims to bring lasting physical and spiritual development in communities, through a multi-year program that is focused on specific regions, thoughtfully integrating and contextualizing principles of water access, sanitation, hygiene, church mobilization, gospel proclamation, and sustainability.
When the school has access to safe water nearby, the students will have several benefits. One, students can collect water for the family and bring it back home after school, keeping them in school. Second, their bodies will be healthier, with no more typhoid or waterborne illnesses, helping them to focus on their schoolwork. Their families will spend less hard-earned income on medical care. The community members will benefit from the new water source. Women will have time to grow gardens, sell items at the marketplace, and be parents. In time, poverty will stop.
This community is within Living Water International’s WASH program area, which includes the Flourish program. Working through the local churches, our field staff work to facilitate pastoral/lay leader training that includes Bible storying with practical applications. This helps pastors train rural pastors who are illiterate, equipping church lay leaders and pastors how to teach hygiene and sanitation best practices with activities that incorporate the gospel.
|TOTAL WATER USERS:||254|
|MAIN WATER COLLECTORS:||students|
|PUMP TYPE:||hand pump|
|PROJECT TYPE:||new simple water project|
|DEPTH OF WELL:||35 m|
WATER QUALITY TESTS
|TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS:||99 ppm|
The Living Water staff helped Saint Vincent Pallotti School work to secure a future of safe water access by implementing several sustainability methods. One of these was the appointment of a well caretaker. The caretaker will collect a small, agreed-upon fee per household for water usage. These fees will be used to
cover any replacement parts or repairs the well might need in the future.
Additionally, the staff trained the caretaker to care for the well on a day-to-day basis. The staff also helped him set up a maintenance schedule and operating budget. Living Water Rwanda will stay in contact with the caretaker to monitor the functionality of the well and support sustainability efforts. The
community now feels empowered and equipped to steward their well for years to come.
“This community suffered from unsafe water. The school was not able to keep proper sanitation due to a lack of safe and secure water. During the dry season, our students contracted many waterborne diseases. The students used to walk long distances when looking for safe water. This new well will help the community and the school to promote hygiene and sanitation.”
SANITATION & HYGIENE
The students were ready to learn how they could
use your gift to improve their health. To that end,
the Living Water staff held sanitation and hygiene
promotion activities at the school. The staff explained
that handwashing is fundamental to stopping
the spread of germs and disease. The students
learned proper handwashing methods, which were
demonstrated by Living Water Rwanda and the
practiced by the students. The staff demonstrated
how to make a simple handwashing device called a
“tippy tap,” which the students could easily replicate
and use in their homes.
The students learned about the effects of parasites
and the importance of proper sanitation. The staff also
explained menstrual hygiene methods. Finally, the
students and faculty learned how to properly care for
the well and how to keep the water safe during storage
IN JESUS’ NAME
At the completion of the project, Living Water staff shared the message of the gospel with the Cyeshero community through a well dedication service. With the help of the community elders, they shared with the attendees that God, through Jesus, desires to offer his living water to all. The participants then prayed over their new well, both that it would be used to glorify the Lord, and also as a prayer of thanksgiving for your generosity. The service concluded with Living Water staff encouraging the
residents to give their lives to Christ and follow his teachings.
Ingomar Living Waters, your gift of safe water changes everything for the students at Saint Vincent Pallotti School. Because of you, the students and broader community have overcome the water crisis and the fear regarding water access. Water access on the school
grounds will nourish the students and cultivate a positive learning environment. Furthermore, the efficiency of the safe water well and its location close to their homes will save the community members immeasurable time and energy. They can now spend their time in more meaningful ways that benefit themselves and their families.
The safe water also reminds the students daily of the power that God has to provide. It serves as a metaphor to them of the living water of God that cleanses and sustains them. Jesus said in John 7:38 (NIV), “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
Thank you for giving water, for life, in Jesus’ name!
All projects are made possible by World Changers.