“Meet Nilda Condori”
By Nilda Condori
I am a member of Santidad Amigos Church and a former Bolivia Quaker Education Fund (BQE) scholarship recipient. My first job was teaching girls from 5 to 10 years old every Sunday. Sadly, my father had died when I was 16, leaving my mother to provide for the family and protect us. My mom was left with many debts because she helped my sister go to college. Thanks to a $50.00 per month BQE scholarship
I was able to pay my tuition at university. With God’s grace, we were able to survive. I have worked as the Financial Administrator of the Quaker Bolivia Link Foundation in Bolivia since October 2013. Working there has been a wonderful experience. Our financial supporters have allowed us to help so many poor people realize their dreams of securing safe, clean water at home. The health-related challenges of unsafe water, already endured by too many families we serve, have been further compound by the challenges of the global pandemic. I experienced this firsthand. On October 26, the pandemic knocked at the door of my family as my husband developed symptoms. Due to his severe symptoms he was isolated and separated from the rest of us, which was traumatic for my family. But I, too, was soon infected, and then our children became sick – the entire family was now infected. It was difficult to care for my husband and children while I was ill. At the suggestion of a Pulmonologist my husband and I had CT scans. Although breakthrough infections swept through our family, we were vaccinated and received the good news that our lungs were not severely affected. Unfortunately, this is not the case with so many others.
The first three days following our first symptoms, fever, muscle aches, bone pain, and headaches, were almost unbearable. Without realizing it I had lost my sense of smell. One day, the pilot flame on our gas burner had blown out, and when I entered the kitchen, I could not smell the gas. Had we lit the stove, my family would have perished. With rest, after ten days of unrelenting symptoms, we gradually improved. Through God’s grace, all of us continue to improve each day, including my young children, one ten years old and the other five years old. As with any great challenge, the sheer weight of COVID’s impact on our family was overwhelming, yet we realize we are no more impacted than the millions of people infected by COVID. Still, we persevered through this challenge as a family, we maintained our faith, God helped us endure and overcome this terrible disease, and we emerged stronger and even more committed to helping others. Our access to clean and safe water was life-saving – something too many of the people we serve can only dream of. As my family emerges from this pandemic, I have recommitted myself to the mission of providing clean and safe water to communities in need. No one should be left unable to protect their families from water-borne or other diseases due to a lack of clean and safe water.
Please help us in doing this life-saving work. We are blessed through the service of others, and we cannot serve others without your support. And please get vaccinated. In the end, vaccination is the best remedy for this dreaded pandemic. Thank you and God bless!, Nilda.
"I won’t ever move from Quime," says Susana Valdez. She was born more than 50 years ago in the community of Quime - Inquisivi Province (La Paz-Bolivia). She grew up in a community with many, many challenges including a lack of even the most basic opportunities for...