International (MNN) — What if you could prevent 10% of the world’s disease? According to Worldwide Christian Schools, by addressing the problem of unclean water, such a feat is possible.
Scott Vanderkooy of Worldwide Christian Schools tells us about Water 4 Wisdom, a program devoted to fighting water-related illness.
Vandercooy explains the system that begins with education: “WWCS inspires Christ-centered schools within the developing world that are very attractive to the non-Christian community.” The goal of these schools is three-fold. They educate children for a better future, teach communities about hygiene and water cleanliness, and introduce non-Christian families to God. There are often two inhibitors of education in these countries: parents needing their children to work, and illness. Each year, 443 million children around the world miss school because of sickness caused by bad water.
Water 4 Wisdom specifically addresses the water issue by teaching communities to install provided water filtration systems in the schools, and how to maintain them. This program is an extra incentive for parents to send their children to school. The children are then able to bring knowledge about nutrition, clean water, and hygiene back to their families. This, in effect, fights illnesses in entire villages.
Since the introduction of Water 4 Wisdom, WWCS has seen a 40% reduction of school absences. WWCS has found that many families who have no interest in God often send their children to their schools because of the advantages found there.
By providing teaching children about water cleanliness, WWCS is helping communities climb out of destitute conditions. “Education is like the stepladder out of poverty,” says Vanderkooy. The UN claims that every dollar invested in clean water increases a community’s wealth seven times. The results of a community having access to clean water are exponential. Increased wealth boosts opportunity for children to go to school and the ability to afford tuition. Better educated communities become healthier communities.
Water 4 Wisdom is putting together teams to begin work in January 2014. These teams will go to other countries in order to instruct nationals how to install water filtration systems and how to maintain them. They will provide information on educating the children. “Our whole philosophy is that we don’t want to do for nationals what they can do for themselves. We concentrate on knowledge transfer,” Vanderkooy explains. This knowledge transfer involves the training individuals in other countries to carry on the work locally. That involves the maintenance of the filtration system as well as the education of the locals.
There are many ways that you can be involved. You can be a part of these teams that travel and train. Water for Wisdom also needs financial support so that the program can continue to expand. For information on how to give or to go, click here.
Also, WWCS needs prayer. There are lots of barriers for the Water for Wisdom program. One of these is habit. Developing villages have a hard time changing practices, and it takes great effort to teach them new ways to purify water. Pray that these communities will be receptive to what they’re being taught, and motivated to change for the better. Pray for the financial support for this program. Pray for volunteers to step up and get involved. Pray that the gospel being taught at these schools will reach open ears and hearts community-wide.