What does it mean to change the world? Typically we think of grand, sweeping accomplishments, building a hospital, starting a movement to fight racism, or finding the cure for cancer. Although these are all clearly incredible things, maybe changing the world doesn’t have to happen on such a large scale, but rather maybe it can happen in the lives of just one family. Maybe it’s in the details that it is possible.
Yesterday I talked with the father of a family for whom we had spent several days building concrete floors in their home. The majority of the homes in the village that we work with Public Health Brigades have dirt floors and walls. In these floors lives a certain type of insect that carries a parasite called Chagas. If left untreated, Chagas causes cardiomytosis and is the number one cause of heart attacks in Honduras. The cement floors help prevent the Chagas bug from living in the homes of these rural families, significantly protecting their health.
But this father didn’t talk to me about Chagas or how the new floors are helping ensure that his four young daughters don’t have to be afraid of dying from this disease. Rather, he looked me directly in the eyes and thanked with the utmost sincerity for the floors, because now when his family goes to bed at night, fleas don’t come up out of the ground and bite them in their sleep. Something I completely take for granted that every time when I go to sleep I have never once worried about getting bitten by the bugs living in my bedroom floor. Through such a simple act, mixing some concrete, this family is able to experience a tremendous change in the quality of their lives.
Are you passionate about changing lives, one family at a time?
For more info: www.publichealthbrigades.org
Want to learn how to build a concrete floor from Orlando, our Honduran expert? See: Concrete Floors Part 1 and Concrete Floors Part 2