Cassandra raises her two younger sisters, Patricia and Leila. Cassandra’s sisters are ten and seven years of age. Cassandra is a day laborer on a nearby farm struggling to care for her sisters and herself. Cassandra is sixteen years old. She never knew her father and it has been six months since her maman died. Maman is Haitian for mother. Cassandra has lost two aunts and a cousin also. Cassandra’s maman gave birth to a baby boy just prior to her passing. He was five months old when he died. The spirit of death is Cholera.
Cassandra has had to grow up quickly. She is the father, the mother, and the sister of her family. Her family is one of scores of families that have been directly affected by this terrible disease. Cholera has always been a concern for villages outside of Port-Au-Prince – particularly since the earthquake - but never on such a large scale. The cause is pollutants from collapsed and rubbled buildings, and a poor sanitation system due to the destruction of innumerable homes causing a massive spread of homelessness and transients throughout the city. The decaying remains of bodies yet to be found also seeped contaminates into the clean water sources that flowed from the big city.
What was once a moderately clean water source in the form of a creek behind Cassandra’s hovel is now ripe with foul, tainted poisonous water. Now Cassandra must walk almost a full days journey to a somewhat ingestible water source while carrying five one-gallon jugs. It is killing her physically to take on such a task, but her fear of losing another family member is the motivation to abuse her small framed body every week.
Then, in the matter of one day hope drove into town. An organization calling themselves Water4 brought an more optimistic and brighter future. The Water4 Foundation did not just bring help, they brought life. Cassandra and the villagers experienced the impact of clean and dirty water. Water can either bring life or death. The miracle of the Water4 Foundation arriving brought more than physical water, it also brought the Water that births life.
Water4 carried life in their tool boxes and trucks. They delivered life through the pipes and knobs they installed. The also spoke life into the village by sharing why they serve these needy places. Water4 not only helps villages like Cassandra’s to find a clean water supply, they also have a message.
Cassandra’s story may be fictional, but it is a fact that thousands of people die every day because of water pollution . The Water4 Foundation has taken Jesus’ call seriously in the physical and spiritual sense. Clean water is a symbol of virility and life. Jesus’ water quenches our thirst and fills us full of life to which we will thirst no more. Partner with Water4 and witness how clean water can change lives.
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