No one seems to care | Dominican Republic
While providing educational and humanitarian supplies in the Dominican Republic, MegaCARE heard stories of remote communities forced to live in unthinkable conditions in the heart of the nation’s capital. Remote communities within the nation’s largest city seemed hard to imagine, but our partner took us to a cliff side community where the reality exceeded our worse expectation.
Our team descended down a cliff on a narrow path of stone and wooden steps overgrown with vegetation and covered with debris. It was then that we realized the term remote was more than appropriate. With each step we descended into an underworld where time seemed to stand still and the plight of a rural community was in stark contrast to the urban community living above. Garbage, debris and raw sewage are pushed or piped over the cliffs to rain down on the people living below. These remote communities are only accessible by treacherous paths from above or by boats from the river. The residents here live a meager lifestyle provided by the river and what they can salvage from the garbage and debris that rains down from above. Extreme poverty has forced these families to fight for survival each and every day.
Our team steps over raw sewage passing make shift homes and tents while curious faces peer out from windows and behind trees as we enter the community. We spoke with several residents and met a young lady named Silvia who provided us a glimpse into her life. She described the struggles mothers endure here in providing for their families. She shared that she once lived above with her husband, but he abandoned the family many years ago. She was unable to provide for her three children above and was forced to move to the lower levels. She states, “Life is difficult and no one seems to care. No one seems to care…we are lost and forgotten down here. ”
When asked about her children’s future, she was brought to tears stating:
“I don’t know. I just focus on making it through today. I try not to think about my children’s future. I pray for their health and pray they don’t have the same life as me. It’s hard to think about tomorrow. People are sick, but it’s hardest on the children and the elderly. We know the water is affecting us, but we can’t afford to buy bottled water when we are struggling to eat. There are many days I go without eating just to make sure my children have at least one meal a day. Sometimes I send them to a friend’s house just so they won’t see that I’m not eating. I don’t know what I did to deserve this life, but I only wished someone could help us.”
Sadly, Silvia’s story is like millions around the world without access to clean drinking water. Many mothers know the water is bad, but since it does not kill them as adults they continue using the water for survival. They are unaware that it takes a child at least five years to develop their immune system. During this developmental stage, consumption of contaminated water is breaking down the child’s immune systems resulting in serious illness, long-term health and development issues if the child is able to survive past the age of five.
According to the World Health Organization, each year 1.8 million children die from preventable water related disease which is 4000 children per day or one child every 20 seconds.
MegaCARE is on a mission to provide access to clean drinking water to families like Silvia’s. MegaCARE distributed water filtration systems and training to 250 households in this community and working with our partners for on-going programs for these families.
With your support, MegaCARE can continue our clean water programs by providing water filtration systems and training to families in desperate need of assistance. Your donation of $50 provides clean drinking water to a family of five for 10 years while a donation of $500 will provide hope for ten families like Silvia’s.
Take five minutes now. Click the donate button to give the gift of clean drinking water to those in need. MegaCARE is responding, but we can do more with you on our team.
Together, we can make a difference! Together, we can show we truly care.