Hoping for Healthy

Written by
FH staff writer
Published on
August 3, 2021 at 5:44:00 PM PDT August 3, 2021 at 5:44:00 PM PDTrd, August 3, 2021 at 5:44:00 PM PDT

“I’m grateful to God for his provision of resources to solve the problems of (our) communities, I hope to send my children to the highest level of schooling and produce sufficient food for my family.” — Fayisa

It’s hard to get much done when you’re always getting sick. Debilitating stomach cramps, chronic fatigue, and the embarrassing need to run to the washroom every 15 minutes tends to get one down.

Fayisa’s family struggled with repeated bouts of illness. His four children were especially affected. Because they didn’t have a latrine at home they had to find places outside to use the toilet; obviously there wasn’t any water under the trees to wash hands. This lack of access to sanitation and hygiene, combined with having no choice but to drink contaminated water, caused the children to have chronic diarrhea.

Without easy access to transportation, it was challenging for Fayisa to get his children to the local health centre. He and his wife spent much of their limited income on medicine to treat the family’s sicknesses. And instead of working their farm, Fayisa used a lot of his time to take his children to the doctor or stayed home to care for them.

Stuck in this holding pattern of chronic illness, Fayisa struggled to have hope. “I felt that nobody was ready to support me except God,” he shares. Unable to get his children healthy, he grew pessimistic and lost the courage to lead his family.

Then, in 2017, Fayisa participated in FH training on hygiene and sanitation, vegetable production, and how to establish a plant nursery. Along with the training, FH provided a concrete latrine slab to Fayisa’s family so they could have a clean and safe toilet at home. Fayisa also received farm tools and vegetable seeds to start a home garden, and seedlings to get his nursery going.

In addition, FH helped the community dig a freshwater well near Fayisa’s house so he and his neighbours could start drinking and cooking with clean water.

Fayisa with his wife, daughter, and mother.

As Fayisa and his family embraced these changes, their health began to improve. Drinking clean water prevented them from getting dangerous parasites in the first place. Using a clean toilet and washing their hands afterward stopped the passing of sicknesses between family members.

Their home garden began to grow, and as fresh vegetables became a regular part of their diet, everyone’s nutrition improved. The family started having more energy and more time for school, play, farming, and living!

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