USA (MNN/Compassion) — In the developing world, clean water represents life both spiritually and physically. Finding it can be a challenge. That's why Compassion International's partnership with Healing Waters International is crucial, bringing clean water to 17 Compassion-assisted projects in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Guatemala.
Healing Water's Ed Anderson says, "Two million people die of water-borne diseases every year. 90-percent or 1.6 million of those are children under the age of five."
Because of that, the United Nations is observing World Water Day tomorrow.
Healing Waters, a 6-year-old nonprofit based in Golden, Colo., currently has 60 systems in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala and Kenya. They work through indigenous churches by building self-sustaining projects that make safe drinking water accessible to the poor. The organization joined forces with Compassion in 2003, opening a church water project in Consuelo, Dominican Republic, that offers affordable clean water to the community.
Compassion International, a leading Christian child development organization, works with more than 65 denominations and more than 4,500 indigenous church partners in 24 developing countries.
"The Compassion/Healing Waters partnership is much more than just the distribution of water– it's about saving lives," said Gregg Keen, executive director of program development for Compassion. "When you consider that more than 1.5 million children under the age of 5 die each year because they don't have adequate sanitation or clean water, this joint endeavor takes on a greater purpose and mission."
Partnering with Healing Waters makes clean water affordable to the families of Compassion-assisted children. In addition, when Healing Waters projects are located at a Compassion program, water is donated to the program.
Anderson says it's more than just providing water. He says sharing Christ is an important part of their work. " We install the system at a church, Christian clinic or school. By providing pure drinking water at a very, very low cost, we bring people to church, to Christian clinics and Christian schools," which is where they hear about the Gospel.
Healing Waters is committed to providing the highest quality water at the lowest price in every community. The water meets or exceeds all governmental health standards for purity.
In Consuelo, Healing Waters installed a purification system at the Biblica Cristiana Church which partners with Compassion. The purified water costs customers a fraction of the market rate. Weekly, 1300 customers line up to fill 5-gallon containers they buy from the church, or they bring their own to be sanitized.
Since 2002, Healing Waters has distributed more than 50 million gallons of water, including more than 15 million at Compassion programs.
"No one does more to help children in the developing world than Compassion International," said Ed Anderson, chief executive officer at Healing Waters International. "Providing clean safe drinking water at Compassion projects improves learning, child development, family health, and productivity. We are privileged to be Compassion's partner. Compassion International partnering with Healing Waters International is a win–win situation for the developing world. We just want to do more and do it faster."
Compassion International serves more than 1 million children in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Since 1952, Compassion has touched the lives of more than 1.8 million children and has been recognized for its financial integrity with top ratings and recommendations by several of the nation's leading not-for-profit "watchdog" organizations.
For information on sponsoring a child, visit Compassion online at compassion.com or call (800) 336-7676, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MT.
For information about Healing Waters, visit healingwatersintl.org, call (303) 526-7278, or write Healing Waters International, 534 Commons Drive, Golden, Colorado 80401.