The World Needs More ‘Abbys’

April 24, 2015

by Ron Orcajada, Samaritan's Purse Household Water Program Manager

A Grade 6 student in Ontario researches Samaritan's Purse's use of the BioSand Water Filter and wins first place at the science fair!

I have a great job that gives me the privilege to visit remote villages all over the world and help people get safe water to drink. Because over 750 million people still drink dirty and disease-laden water all over the world, people working in my field are always busy. This is why it was a great encouragement to receive a letter from Abby, a Grade 6 student in Ontario. She heard about the BioSand Water Filter (BSF) from our website and learned that a Canadian invention, simple and proven, has been used by the Samaritan’s Purse water program since 1998 to help nearly 1.5 million people all over the world.

Abby wanted to present the BSF for her science fair project and asked me some really great questions in her letter: How are they made? what are they made of? how long do they last? what is the difference between the water before and after filtering? The scientific inquiry process at work!

I was so happy to send her answers along with some of materials—including a 38 page Master’s degree thesis report! Maybe Abby read it all, because a few months later she sent another letter thanking me for the help and resources as she won first place for her grade at the science fair. Congratulations Abby!    


Samaritan's Purse has been using the BioSand Water Filter since 1998 to help nearly 1.5 million people all over the world. Abby did a science fair project that highlighted how the filter works and won her 1st prize in her grade.

Jesus reminds us to “love our neighbors as ourselves”. We live in a very connected world and time—our neighbors are both near and far. I believe all the ‘Abbys’ out there are future scientists, engineers, or humanitarian aid workers. Part of loving our neighbors practically is to become more informed of the needs of others, the working solutions, and perhaps coming up with new solutions. There’s a big job left for us to do in the world of water for relief and development—especially for Christians.

We’re thankful we can do our work through the support of caring and generous Canadians. We’re encouraged that compassion and concern is being expressed even in our grade six classrooms.     

I was truly encouraged by Abby and wish her well as she continues to grow, learn, and discover life’s wonders and God’s path for her.  

Learn how Samaritan's Purse Water Projects are helping save lives through clean water.