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.
All projects are made possible by World Changers.