Until recently, Romaldo and his community had poor access to safe drinking water.
“We had to ration it…” he said of the water they collected daily. With a wife and four children it was essential to plan ahead if they were to take on the 10km hike from their home only once a day.
Most young families would find loading their small children in the car for a short trip quite daunting. But hiring a cart and packing up the whole family to go on the long and tiring trek to collect a day’s supply of water takes a whole new level of preparation.”
“Sometimes we went to collect the water near the beach, or a spring, but we had to bring snacks or food because it was so far.”
The hardship and difficulty Romaldo faced as a result of lack of safe water access were also compounded by the physical injury he obtained while he was a part of the resistance movement.
“It was a grenade. In 1981. When it happened people doubted [my abilities] and said that I would not be able to do anything, because I lost my arm.”
“I was really sad, but I kept on believing. I believed that I could still do something good in my life…”
Despite the physical and emotional pain he experienced in the past, there is hope in his voice as he shares about his life now.
Partnering with Romaldo’s local community our impact partner, World Vision recently built a gravity-fed water solution to bring safe water access to the village.. Romaldo’s community were incredibly instrumental in the process — from the transportation of materials to the clean water source up the mountain, to the construction and maintenance of the solution.
“We are the ones working on the project, and that makes us really happy. That’s why we were excited.”
“Nowadays, early in the morning when we wake up, the kids have already gone to the water tap and bathed, washed their hands, and prepared themselves to go to school.”
With the tap now near their home, they no longer have to plan far ahead as a family, spending hours of their day walking to and from the water source.
“It gives us more time to work on other things…farming, gardening, and we are not worried about having to go far away to collect water.”
With Romaldo gaining more hours in the day he signed up to be a plumber as part of the ‘water user group’, a group of people amongst the community set up to sustain the solution long term. If the water isn’t flowing or the pumps aren’t connected properly, Romaldo and the community members are the ones to solve the problem.
“Because of the training, I am able to do this work. I have never had any formal education, but with courage and confidence I can do all these things.”
Far from regular, this father, farmer and plumber who overcame personal challenges to be an example to his community now has a restored hope in his children’s future.
“Their outlook has improved, they are more confident speaking and they can write. Even though they are still little, I think that they will go on to be successful in the future. This is my dream.”