Last month, people across the globe celebrated Father’s Day, a day that honors the contributions fathers make to support the lives of their children.
Today, we want to highlight four fathers we have had the honor of working with in Trojes, Honduras.These fathers are committed to not only taking care of their own children’s health but are also doing what they can to support the health of their friends and neighbors, as well. They are PWW Community Agents.
Community Agents are volunteers who live in communities we serve. Each Community Agent supports and regularly monitors three to five families in their own community. They become an extension of the PWW team, receiving extensive training in water, sanitation and hygiene practices, as well as filter and maintenance support. Through the training program, they are empowered with the knowledge to support and maintain their communities’ safe water programs.
It has been two years since these fathers were selected by their community to serve as PWW Community Agents. Community members have welcomed them into their personal homes, so that the fathers, serving as Community Agents, can supervise how the clean water filters are working, determine if healthy hygiene practices are in place, and, at the same time, have a nice conversation with the rest of the family, further building and growing community relationships.
This is Santos Adalid Almendarez (pictured with children). He is a Community Agent in Esperanza Villa, Trojes. Santos has two children, a daughter who is seven, named Yissel, and a son who is nine, named Cremblin. His pulperia (small local store) is named after the two children.
We recently asked Santos how it felt to be a Community Agent. His response was, “It is a great opportunity to visit my friends. My daughter loves it also. She is very proud of me. And, at the same time, I know I am contributing to these families and their general health. It is very good.”
Santos always carries filtered water, even when working in the coffee fields. He says, “Neither my family or I will drink water out of the hose again (referring to untreated water).” He goes on to say he cares too much for his family and will “never put them at risk again.”
Oscar Ivan Moncada (in photo) serves as a Community Agent in his community of Los Placeres. He has a family of 12, though not all are in the picture because some are already married and no longer live at home. He also takes care of his older sister to (pictured on the far left).
Oscar has been a community agent for two years now, and, even with his large family, he makes room in his life to contribute to the community-wide safe water and hygiene program, making sure that families’ water filters are being used properly and effectively.
Marco Tulio Hernandez (pictured right) is from the community of Los Placeres. He works hard taking care of cattle andgrowing coffee for his family of six.
Marco shared that, “at the beginning of the program with PWW, we had agreed to perform household visits to report how filters are being used at least four times a year.” However, Marco, as well as the rest of the community agents in his area, have gone the extra mile and perform up to 10 follow-up visits each year.
When asked what it means to serve as a Community Agent, he simply replied, “I am very proud to support my family and to be an example of work and dignity for my community.”
These dedicated fathers, who also proudly serve as PWW Community Agents, are deeply committed to the safe water program and to doing what they can to support the improved health and wellbeing of their own families as well as of the families in their communities.
We offer our sincere gratitude to Santos, Oscar, Marco, Anael and the hundreds of additional Community Agents who so generously donate their time and energy to ensure that safe water is flowing in the homes we have served, healthy hygiene practices are in place, and families are experiencing much better lives as a result of the programs. These volunteers are an essential part of the PWW team and a critical element to the long-term success of our work!