Clean water and good sanitary conditions are core elements of a healthy life, and the collective efforts of the global community have been able to bring this necessity to many people.  In the midst of natural disasters, like Indonesia has experienced many times, the burden on mothers to help care for their families becomes even more desperate. Many women become the sole providers for their families.

In honor of Mother’s Day, PCI honors women like Ibu Fatimah and Ibu Nurlela of Indonesia.  Ibu Fatimah is part of PCI’s tsunami recovery efforts as part of the “Morning Sun” coffee milling group. Prior to the tsunami, all the women worked alone in their homes, grinding coffee as their mothers had taught them.  Now that they are working together, they not only earn more money, but find the work faster and more enjoyable by passing the hours with stories and laughter.

“Although other organizations are working here,” says Ibu Fatimah, “their livelihood programs dictate what we must do and how, so after they leave, those projects will probably end. But with PCI, we can form our own groups and decide what we want to do, so we are very happy!”

Ibu Nurlela spent most of her life near a small, dirty river where she worked washing clothes to provide for her husband and 2 daughters.  She told us, “Before PCI helped to provide us with clean water wells, our whole community used the water from the river for everything. Many kids swim in there as well. Many people, including myself and my children, would get itchy skin problems. For drinking water we used to buy clean water from water vendors – but the price is very expensive. I often could not afford it.

“I knew PCI from my neighbors who received training from PCI about their children’s health and nutrition. PCI also taught them how to cook good food, and the importance of always washing your hands. PCI told us about how the dirty water affected our health, about how important cleanliness is, and the dangers of waterborne diseases.

“Because of PCI, people in our neighborhood now have clean water for cooking, drinking, bathing, and washing, as well as latrines. I never get itchy skin problems anymore, and I always wash my hands first before I touch food. The neighborhood is now much cleaner. My life and home are much healthier! I hope everybody keeps maintaining the facilities. I hope the river is always clean forever!”