Children in Nicaragua gather around a new well, thanks to El Porvenir, with support from UMCOR.
By Klay S. Williams*
January 24, 2013—Mothers, fathers, and other guardians hope that good parenting will lead children to become responsible citizens of society, eventually growing up to serve their communities and the wider world.
A new resource highlighting and promoting the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and El Porvenir, an organization that supports clean water projects in Nicaragua, offers children a head start.
The two have teamed up to elaborate part of United Methodist Publishing House’s new Sunday school curriculum, Grow Proclaim Serve. The Sunday school units they developed introduce children to issues and efforts related to the critical need for access to clean water and sanitation in Nicaragua, Central America.
“El Porvenir has been a strong UMCOR partner in the promotion of water and sanitation projects in Nicaragua. We connected them with Grow to help spread the word and create awareness of the need for access to fresh water,” explains Landon Taylor, UMCOR executive for Church Relations.
Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and 80 percent of its population lives on less than $2.00 a day. Grow helps adolescents understand how they can personally contribute to help kids their age there.
“Around 45 Sunday school classes responded to the October Grow Proclaim Serve units focused on clean water in Nicaragua,” says Jenna Saldaña, El Porvenir director of US Operations. Children spent three weeks learning and collecting coins from family members and friends.
“In the past decades,” Saldaña continues, “the country has suffered natural disasters, stunted development, and civil war, which have destroyed infrastructure, drained resources, and derailed its economic development.”
Change, especially in the availability of and access to clean water and sanitation, requires action, and it is the action of the children of The United Methodist Church that is leading the way through Grow Proclaim Serve.
“I feel that it’s important for everyone to know the need and effects of not having access to clean water,” Taylor underscores. “Sharing the work of UMCOR and El Porvenir broadens children’s understanding of God’s world and the need for the church to be in mission to all.
“I also like the amazing idea of children supporting children,” he adds. “Access to clean water allows children to attend school and families to grow healthy.”
Educate. Act. Respond. The future of our world depends on the next generation of mission-minded individuals—the children of the world. From their little hands come big gestures.
To support UMCOR’s partnership with El Porvenir in Nicaragua, donate to Advance #525000.
*Klay S. Williams is a writer and contributor to www.umcor.org.