AP Images/Brennan Linsley
Amid fears of an economic crisis, listeners of national Christian
radio stations K-Love and Air1 donated nearly $2 million in a daylong
campaign to provide Compassion’s Water of Life safe water systems to
those living in extreme poverty in Rwanda.
K-Love and Air1 focused on the immense need for safe water in Rwanda where 60 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. More than one-third of the population is without improved drinking water sources and nearly half are without improved sanitation facilities.
“The money raised will provide over 35,000 Compassion children and their families with safe drinking water for the rest of their lives,” says Mark Hanlon, Compassion’s senior vice president for US operations.
Though economic reports threatened to reduce donor generosity, over 19,000 people gave an average of $90 to provide the systems. Air1 also initiated a pledge drive where a major donor agreed to provide a Compassion Water of Life system for Haiti for each person who signed up as a recurring donor to the station. As a result, 2,600 additional water systems were made available.
“We feel that part of being a good steward is to share this stage with like-minded ministries,” says Mike Novak, president and CEO of K-Love and Air 1. “Compassion and the ‘Water of Life’ campaign was a natural fit. The K-LOVE and Air 1 listeners blessed about 35,000 families in Rwanda with these remarkable life-giving water filters, by donating $1.9 million to Compassion in a one-day event. To that, I say, ‘Praise God.’”
The benefits of safe water have more than health implications. It is also a financial issue. Hanlon notes that the direct result of safe water for families means that fewer resources will be needed to treat illnesses. And when children are healthy, they can go to school.
“Safe water seems like such a simple thing,” he says, “but for children in living in poverty in countries like Rwanda, it has the power to bring practical change through improved health and education.”