Water is a basic need for all people—it has to be free and accessible. This is actually sixth out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. In fact, unsafe water combined with poor sanitation is said to be the second killer of children (Rodriguez, 2014).
Novelyn Frojivido, 14, understands this as she is the one tasked to get water for their whole family. Novelyn is 8th from the ten children. Her father doesn’t have a regular job, and her mother already died from giving birth to her youngest and 10th sibling.
The major source of income of the family is growing orchids and selling them to gardens or collectors. Older siblings already have their own families but sometimes help out for the family’s expenses.
In the Aeta community where Novelyn belongs to, there are two sources of water:
1. Surface water funneled by water pipes that are only available every 7-9 in the morning
2. Villa Dimani river that is two kilometers away from their community
According to Novelyn, she is already used to this routine – walking for two hours just to get to the river.
This has been a challenge for Novelyn because she has a club foot condition. When the road is going upwards, she often stumbles, spilling water from the pail. She often gets bruises thus she has to go back to the water source again.
Behind her usual smiling face, Novelyn admits that she often questions God why these things are happening—how her parents were like that, how her foot became like this, why she was being teased, why they were poor. But at the end of each day, Novelyn still chooses to be positive and be grateful.
“I want to be happy like them. I thank them because they were my parents, they were my classmates. I also thought they might be the one to help me.” -Novilyn
An Operation Blessing water well in Villa Aurora National High School has been turned over to respond to the need of the Aeta community.
Because of your help, more Aeta children like Novelyn can now enjoy and easily access clean and potable water. In our Water and Sanitation program, every peso you donate becomes a spark of hope for Filipinos who need clean water. Partner with us. Click here for more information.