Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Case for Clean Water

It's been almost a week since I've been home, but I'm still recovering. Turns out I brought a nasty little parasite home from the orphanage. I've been to the doctor three times and purchased about $100 in medicines to cure all of the havoc the little pest has wreaked.

But the sad reality is that I got to come home and get better and the children are still there. These kids are not immune to such illnesses. In fact, the children are dying because of sickness in their bellies or from malaria.

In the month of December, three children died before Christmas. As a result, the orphanage scrounged funds together to pay for a young man, right out of nursing school, to come and live with them so that he could monitor the children every day.

And so every day, there is a line-up at his desk as he dishes out medications. No more children have died. But three babies were admitted to a nearby hospital while I was there.

The reason appears to be a lack of clean water. There is no running water or electricity at the orphanage. Instead, they fill buckets of jerry cans with mucky water from a nearby river. Or they catch the rain in tanks.

For two years, Unicef has been telling them they will help them dig clean water wells. But, it hasn't happened yet.

I know the orphanage is working hard to bring running water to the new homes. But, it's a matter of money -- always a matter of money.

Hard reality to face when I'm standing at my kitchen sink....I think it just strengthens to continue raising funds and doing what little I can to help them.

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