Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

Providing Clean Water for Nicaragua’s Children

By Bella DiFilippo*

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere. About 40% of the country’s population lives in rural, isolated communities, where 37% of residents don’t have access to safe drinking water and lack adequate sanitation facilities. These conditions cause at least 200 children to die each year from chronic diseases. This rural population is often unreached by basic government services because of their remote location.

EP Blue Latrine 2.jpg
A household latrine in an El Porvenir community. They are points of pride for the household, and are often placed in scenic, garden-type areas. PHOTO BY LORRIE KING

To reach the children of these vulnerable communities, the Global Ministries’ Global Health unit partners with El Porvenir. Based in Nicaragua, El Porvenir is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering all citizens to build a better future for themselves. El Porvenir improves the wellbeing of the poor by providing access to clean water, building sanitation infrastructures, and promoting health and hygiene education.

NICA EP Pump House 1.jpg
This pump house in the TerraBonna community serves 384 households with clean water. The pump house area also serves as a plant nursery. PHOTO BY LORRIE KING

When partnering with rural communities, El Porvenir provides construction materials, technical expertise, and ongoing health and hygiene education. Communities take ownership of these projects by providing manual labor and a portion of the costs of all projects.

In February 2017, Global Health approved a grant for El Porvenir to support their Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) interventions in local Nicaraguan schools, located in six municipalities. Global Health’s program manager for WASH and Food Security, Lorrie King, recently traveled to Nicaragua to evaluate the progress of the project.

NICA EP Dario Group.jpg
Lorrie King with the El Porvenir Dario Office Health Brigadistas (community health workers), after completing a training on integrating Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) into school and community WASH. Goal: Keep adolescent girls in school. PHOTO COURTESY OF LORRIE KING

With the assistance of members of the local community, El Porvenir is building clean wells, restructuring latrines, and is building hand-washing stations. Students from the schools are also receiving health education. With the support of Global Health, El Porvenir is impacting at least 1,300 children from ages 6-12. Not only will the students benefit, but their families and teachers will benefit as well.

“El Porvenir is leading the way in sustainable development and community involvement,” said Lorrie King. “As our partners, they have continued to exceed our expectations,” said Lorrie King. “The depth of the impact of their projects is clearly evident, and they are trusted by the communities with whom they partner.”

To support Global Health’s work around providing clean water to vulnerable communities, give to Advance #3020600.

Bella DiFilippo is program area liaison from Communications for Global Ministries*