SP: What problem did this school district face?
BK: Most schools lacked safe water for children and were without access to suitable hygiene and sanitation facilities. Water sources were often nothing more than a muddy pond or small rainwater jar and weren’t properly protected from animals, so the water was often contaminated. Most people didn’t understand the importance of drinking safe water, and most of them believed that clear water from open water sources was safe for drinking. The government of Cambodia wanted to have the water tested, but it’s not affordable.
SP: How did Samaritan’s Purse help you with your problem?
BK: In 2015, Samaritan’s Purse improved water systems and sanitation services in more than 30 schools in our district by providing household water filters, water wells, ponds, rainwater harvest tanks, latrines, and hand washing stations. Now most schools have safe water for drinking and have good sanitation. Samaritan’s Purse trained our schoolteachers to be hygiene educators and taught our people in communities to wash their hands with soap. Also, Samaritan’s Purse conducted a workshop on testing water quality so that each school is aware.
SP: Has this project helped your physical health?
BK: I think we learned a lot from the workshop, especially about water quality. It was great to know that there were so many contaminants in raw water that make people sick when they drink it. It was great to practice testing sources of water and water after filtration. I think this is a good indicator to ensure our drinking water is safe. The process is easy to practice. Later on, we will be able to do it on our own if the test kits are available.
SP: Has this project helped your relationships with others?
BK: It’s good to participate in this workshop. School principals have more opportunities to build good relationships with others. I would like Samaritan’s Purse to conduct this workshop more often so that they can gain more knowledge to share with their schoolteachers and children.
SP: Has this project helped you spiritually?
BK: During this two-day workshop, we heard about Jesus’ love from pastors every day. We sang Christian song led by Samaritan’s Purse staff members. It was fun to sing praises to God. Most of us practice Buddhism, but a few are Christians. It was good to hear about a God who blesses our communities.
SP: Will the help you have already received from Samaritan’s Purse continue to make a difference for you in the future?
BK: On behalf of all schools in the district, I would like to thank Samaritan’s Purse and donors for supporting us. We will take care and keep using all the facilities effectively. Our government, communities, and children are so happy. These facilities will help improve health and education of thousands of children in the future. This is a good way to get involved with our government to reduce poverty in Cambodia, especially in the rural areas.
SP: How have you started sharing what you learned with other people?
BK: I will ask people who participated in this workshop to share what they learned with their teachers, children, and communities so that they will trust the drinking water in their schools.