How a Poor Widow Overcame Water Poverty in Cambodia

Imagine living in a place without access to safe water. Now imagine you have four young children and you just lost your husband. This is the story of El Lot. This is the story of how a poor widow overcame water poverty in Cambodia.

In rural, underserved areas of Cambodia, children are facing a lot of issues because of contaminated water. Some children regularly suffer from intestinal problems, diarrhea and the common cold. In an area called Ta Siem Commune is a village called Ou Ta Kok. This village contains 215 families and more than 1,000 people, and is also the most vulnerable village in Ta Siem Commune. Every day, the people of Ou Ta Kok collect water from a swamp to use for drinking, bathing and household chores.

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El Lot’s Story: Never Give Up

Swamp where poor widow gathers water
Swamp in Cambodia similar to where El Lot gathered water.

One of the most vulnerable people in Ou Ta Kok is a mother named El Lot. At 33 years old, El Lot is a poor widow with four children ranging in age from 12 to one and a half years old. She works hard growing, harvesting and selling cassava and makes an astonishing $5 per day, which is not enough to care for her children. The family has been collecting water from the swamp, which regularly causes sickness. Even though El Lot has been struggling in poverty, she hasn’t given up.

El Lot saved whatever money she could to register for a ceramic filter and latrine. She started learning about the Vision of a Healthy Village, and decided to put what she learned into practice. She worked together with her nine-year-old son, Hong Kim Li to build a latrine for the family. Now she’s able to purify the water she collects with the ceramic filter, and proudly fills bottles with it to send with the children to school. Now that the family is drinking safe water, they are healthy and strong.

“Now my children have good health and so do I.”

“Before I engaged with Lifewater, my children would have high fever, regularly have the common cold and intestinal problems,” says El Lot. “Now my children have good health and so do I. And now, I am strong enough to do the work in the fields.”

Even in her dire circumstances struggling as a poor widow in rural Cambodia, El Lot worked hard, was a good steward of her money and was able to overcome. Now she hopes the same will happen for other people in her community. “I really want all villagers in my community to get the filter,” says El Lot. “It’s really important for families to have clean water for using and drinking.”

You can help other vulnerable women and children in Cambodia today with the gift of a toilet. A toilet for a poor family means better health and a path out of poverty. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus so people like El Lot have a better chance of living healthy lives.

Choose a Village. Change a Life.