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Meet Chris and Rebecca Lioi of PureWater4Kids
By Chelesa Creager
There are millions of children all over the planet who don’t have the option to turn on a faucet to get their water. After meeting many of these children on a mission trip, Chris and Rebecca Lioi decided to change those children’s lives. Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to Chris and getting to know more about his company.
How it started: Where did the inspiration come from?
Rebecca and I went to Nicaragua on a mission trip with Ambassadors to the Nations. We traveled with ATN to several areas in the Managua region including the city of Managua, Las Maderas, the island of Ometepe and the community of Xiloa. Rebecca and I volunteered to help out with the ATN mobile medical clinic. We had the opportunity to say a brief prayer with each child after they received their diagnosis while they were waiting for their prescriptions to be filled. At least 50% of the children complained of stomach pain and were being treated for intestinal parasites. All the children told us that their pain dissipated as we prayed with them! It’s normal to see lots of healing and relief from stress during prayer. God is so good!
Homeward Bound: How was life like after you returned home?
A few weeks after returning home from Nicaragua, these children we prayed for kept coming back to mind. Here we were, drinking the purest water on earth from our Berkey® purifier while the children we met in Nicaragua were drinking microbiologically unsafe water. We couldn’t bear to think of the pain and suffering they were experiencing! This is when Rebecca and I decided we needed to do something to help these children have access to safe drinking water. I began searching online to see what other missions organizations were using to clean up the water. We started to test and compare the various filters used in developing countries to clean up the water. At first it seemed like the hollow-membrane filter design was the best solution because they’re very compact, low cost and last up to 10 years. We sent a few to Nicaragua through ATN and hoped for the best. Over the next several months we tested this design here [at home and] discovered they remove the parasites but do not remove many chemicals or viruses, and only remove some of the bad taste. They also clog very quickly and need to be removed from the purifier to be back-flushed every week!
The Inspriation Seemed to Come All at Once
Then the inspiration seemed to come all at once, to design our own bucket purifier using the Black Berkey® Purification Elements. We developed two designs, a double food grade bucket, multiple element design (very similar to the residential Berkey® system design) for schools and feeding stations and a single bucket, single element design for individual homes.
Saving Lives: How did you put this idea into action?
It all started [by] sending 11 single bucket purifiers and 2 double bucket purifiers (with 5 elements each) to Nicaragua through ATN in the late summer of 2016. Since then we have sent enough purifiers through ATN to bring fresh water to dozens of homes, 4 schools and 3 feeding stations. This spring our vision began to expand and we realized that other mission organizations might be able to use our PureWater4Kids purifier to bring safe water to the families they serve. Recently we received an order from Samaritans International of Nicaragua for 66 Black Berkey® Purification Elements. The first community they plan to help is Lidia Saavedra located about 12 miles west of Managua, which has about 50 homes. They will be able to bring relief to this entire community with Berkey® bucket purifiers modeled after the PureWater4Kids design! We also sent two single bucket water purifier kits to Kenya in May to a small orphanage. We plan to go to Nicaragua this fall or early winter to meet more of the families we're helping and get more footage for our supporters to see.
What a Kit Provides
The $60 level ($1.67 a month) provides a family with a complete Purewater4kids water purifier kit which includes a Black Berkey® Purification Element, a food grade bucket with lid, a serving pitcher, cups, food grade silicone tubing, stainless steel hose clamp, primer bottle, Scotchbrite cleaning pad, and instructions in Spanish. The $40 level ($1.11 a month) provides a missions organization with a Black Berkey® Purification Element that they will use to build their own water purifier modeled after the PureWater4Kids design.
At this time the complete kits at the $60 sponsorship level will go to Ambassadors to the Nations. The Black Berkey® Purification Element that you sponsor at the $40 level will go to Samaritans International of Nicaragua. They will purchase the rest of the items needed to make a complete purifier kit in Nicaragua. Both organization pay for the shipping to Nicaragua. Either sponsorship level you choose, you are helping break the cycle of waterborne illnesses for a whole family in Nicaragua! Donations of any amount are accepted and will make a big difference in the lives of these dear families.
Interested? Learn How to Support PureWater4Kids
To read more about the PureWater4Kids missionary work visit their site at http://purewater4kids.com/. Additionally, the Lioi’s have set up a donation site so that others can help contribute to their project. If you would like to help these families donate online via their secure PureWater4Kids YouCaring donation page.