HEAR FROM OUR FRIEND SASHA AS SHE SHARES A BIT ABOUT HER FIRST EXPERIENCE TRAVELING WITH ACF!
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to experience first-hand the positive impact that ARIA Children’s Fund is making in the Philippines, mainly through their clean water initiative, Project20. This trip was based on a follow-up of the communities previously visited, as well as scouting for new possible WaterDrop sites. You would think that something as basic as clean water and hygiene wouldn’t be an issue in the 21st century, but unfortunately these circumstances remain.
In every community visited, we got to hear the stories of what a difference the water filters had made in people's lives, and none of them had been a waste of an investment. People had reported an immediate decrease in bowel and health issues, and it is an amazing sight to see the fruit of ACF come to life. In every conversation we shared, you would notice that no matter what current situation a family found themselves in, you could immediately sense the joy and hope for a brighter future to come.
One city that we visited, Canlaon, led us on a plane ride and 3 hour drive up a volcanic mountain, but was one of the most worthwhile trips I’ve ever been on. Currently, ACF partners with a Compassion International site in an initiative to help raise funds to build working toilets. Their current situation had comfort rooms (bathrooms) that would remain unusable for periods of time. We got to spend time with some of the children there, and they were filled with so much laughter and kindness. They had all greeted us with a great dance and welcome, and were kind enough to share in a few games together.
For a place that has about 390 students attending weekly as a safe haven in a community where drug use and abuse is an issue, having working toilets is the least of what they deserve. Construction for this is currently taking place, and I’m so excited for the update when it is completed. I am humbled to have had the opportunity to meet so many different communities, and see the positive change that was brought on their lives through the water filters and hygiene training. There are still so many more families who could benefit through Project20, and ACF doesn't plan on resting until the motto that “every child deserves clean water” becomes a concern of the past. I hope to continue in working with ARIA Children’s Fund until each child will be given the opportunity for basic water and hygiene necessities.