Youth Forward scholarship summer 2016 – Healthy Water, Healthy Life

Name: Miranda Spindt
From: Waukesha, WI
Grade: 10
School: Kettle Moraine Global
Votes: 134

When I was 14, I was given the opportunity to join the Peru Outreach
Ministry at my church and I’ve been an active member for the last
two years. During this time, I have volunteered over 150 hours as
part of the medical mission team. One my first trip to Paita, Peru, I
collected dental supplies, distributed them to over 600 kids and
taught dental hygiene classes to young children. One my second
mission this past June, I was able to lead my own separate project
which I called
Healthy Water, Healthy Life. It involved raising funds to supplying 50 families with a gravity fed water purifying system; building the filters, teaching them how to use, maintain and troubleshoot the systems. Many of the patient’s
medical problems were due to their contaminated water supply.
Secondly, I created an educational pamphlet that were handed out to
patients at the clinic. Each pamphlet described symptoms of parasitic
infections, different ways to purify contaminated water and how to
prevent the spread of bacterial and parasitic infections in the
future.

My biggest challenge, volunteering on these missions, is that nothing is
set in stone. Circumstances are constantly changing and it is very
important to be able to be flexible and adapt to each change as it
comes. It was especially difficult for me during the most recent trip
because I had to personally deal with some challenges with my own
project such as cracked and leaking buckets and having to create a
new drilling template to fit the different buckets. However, in my
opinion, all the challenges are worth it. While teaching the classes,
it was extremely moving to see how thankful and appreciative each
person was because they knew these filters were life saving for their
families. This is what ultimately makes volunteering truly
satisfying. This simple filter will have significant impact on their
health and quality of life. The experience gave me so much
perspective on my life and how blessed I am.

I have a passion for volunteering and assisting people in every
possible way, especially through education. There is a saying that
says, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his
influence stops.” When I think of “forward looking”, I think of
volunteer opportunities that educate people. I believe real impact
comes from education because that person can take that knowledge and
teach someone else. I hope that my water project planted a seed of
knowledge in the community and the lessons will be useful to not only
the people who received filters and treated at the clinic, but to
other family members, friends and their community.


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