In communities where Water Mission serves, mothers who once longed for access to safe water now spend more time caring for their families. Their children are healthier and can attend school regularly. Mothers’ dreams of their children getting an education are no longer out of reach.
Water Mission has provided access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) solutions to more than 7 million people over the past 20 years. But there are still 2.2 billion people around the world who await access to this necessity. This includes families in Ocoto Alto, Peru, where Water Mission is currently implementing a safe water solution.
This Christmas season, we’re taking you to Ocoto Alto, where three mothers’ hopes of having reliable access to safe water will soon be a reality. But as they wait and hope, their stories exemplify resilience, trust, and patience.
Cipriana: The Seamstress
A mother of two, Cipriana makes a two-hour round trip to the nearest safe water access point every day with Blanco, the family donkey. She dreams about spending this time growing her sewing business to raise her family out of poverty.
“Our biggest dream is that we will have safe water here at home,” says Cipriana. “That is the greatest dream we have here.”
The lack safe water access also impacts her children. Her son, Franco, is 12 years old. While he enjoys attending school, especially reading and writing, he is at the age when boys in the community are considered big and strong enough to start working in the fields. Between the hours he will need to work to help provide for the family and walking to help collect safe water, school absenteeism is common for boys his age. Safe water in his town will mean Franco will have time to attend school and keep up with his homework.
Grey: The Young Mother
The importance of a child’s education and livelihood resonates with another young mother in Ocoto Alto. Grey and her three-year-old son, Tony, bear the responsibility of collecting water every morning.
“We don’t have a donkey, so I carry the empty buckets for an hour and a half,” Grey says. “Then hopefully, someone riding by on their motorcycle will bring us back close to the house.”
She often thinks of how life would be different if they had access to safe water in Ocoto Alto. Her biggest hope is for her son to receive an education and become a professional.
“There were many things we couldn’t do [growing up], but now things are changing,” Grey says. “Maybe my son will have the opportunity to be an architect. I want him to have the opportunities that me and my husband didn’t have.”
Milagros: The Gardener
For Milagros, safe water means more than just something to drink. As a mother and gardener, it means keeping her family healthy with the medicinal plants she tends to. The plants help her care for her family when they have stomach aches, cuts, or other ailments.
“Every morning, the first thing I do when I wake up is pray,” Milagros says. “I ask Jesus for my family to have health. What I want most is health for our family. Water is for everything.”
Milagros notes that if she waters the plants with the contaminated, salty water from the town well, the plants will die.
“It is the most needed thing. If I could have safe water, we could all be healthy. [In my prayers] I ask that we would not have this scarcity of water.”
Provide Safe and Living Water for Those Who Hope
With Christmas around the corner, we are reminded that clean, safe water is an amazing gift for those who serve and sacrifice for their families. Please pray for Cipriana, Grey, Milagros, and mothers around the world who wait expectantly for safe water to flow in their community.
We invite you to consider supporting Water Mission’s work through the gift of safe water.