Waterborne illnesses are a persistent issue in many of our global partner areas due to contamination of local water sources. In some areas, like La Mosquitia, this issue has been exacerbated by a recent increase of heavy rains and flooding. The Board of World Mission, in collaboration with church leaders in Honduras and a clean water organization called One Atta Time, is seeking to address the need for clean drinking water through our new Blessings Flow project, which was launched this spring in the villages of Tumtum Tara and Warunta, Honduras.
This project is particularly meaningful because, in an area where the church has been divided for nearly 25 years, this effort is intentionally led in collaboration with both sets of leadership of the Moravian Church in Honduras. They are working together to provide life-giving water to every family in these communities, no matter what their connection is to the Moravian Church.
As of this summer, 159 filters have been distributed in Tumtum Tara with 44 additional filters enroute. A census was completed and the initial clinic in Warunta will distribute water filters in the fall. In the first stage of the project, the hope is to expand to five total communities in La Mosquitia while working to identify and equip local leaders to administer future expansion. There are roughly 100 villages in La Mosquitia, all of which have a need for a clean water intervention like the Blessings Flow project.
The first step of the intervention in each community is to take an initial census of the population, assess water quality and determine the prevalence of waterborne illnesses. (In Tumtum Tara, 100% of families reported symptoms of waterborne illness within the past two weeks and 20% of families had missed school or work due to their illness). Then, a clinic will address any existing waterborne illnesses before distributing water filters (a five-gallon bucket and a simple filtration system) to each household and training community members on how to use the filters effectively. Finally, a post-intervention assessment of the project will be completed.
The Moravian Ministries Foundation provided a generous grant of $25,000 to the Blessings Flow project allowing the Board of
World mission to provide filters for about 500 families, or 2-3 villages! Senior high campers at Mt. Morris, Tar Hollow, and Camp Hope assembled 750 water filters, which are now ready for distribution in Honduras. This effort is truly made possible through the joint efforts of Moravians worldwide.
US donations to this project via check can be sent to: Board of World Mission, 1021 Center Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018. Donations are also accepted online at http://moravianmission.org/give/ and click on the green “Give” button at the top of the page. Please use the memo line to indicate that your gift is for “Blessings Flow.”
Canadians can send checks to: Moravian Church in Canada, 600 Acadia Drive SE, Calgary, AB T2J 0B8. Interac e-Transfer donations may be sent to [email protected]. In the comments section, please mark this donation as “Blessings Flow” and include your name and address to receive a tax receipt.
Congregations interested in setting a goal of sponsoring an entire community (100-250 families) please contact the Board of World Mission’s Director of Mission Engagement, the Rt. Rev. Chris Giesler at [email protected] or call the BWM office at (610) 868-1732.