[Photos] Chelsea Clinton's visit to Myanmar

On Saturday, Chelsea Clinton, board member of the Clinton Foundation, visited a remote village near Pathein, Myanmar, to see the partnership between World Vision and Procter & Gamble (P&G) to provide clean water to children.

P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program has provided 6 billion liters of clean drinking water to children and families around the world, a milestone marked on this visit.

In Myanmar, clean water is a critical need. A third of the rural population of 15 million people have no access to it, according to UNICEF. The lack of this resource makes diarrheal diseases one of the leading causes of death for children under 5, illnesses that are preventable with access to clean water.

Gway Dauk Chaung, the village that Chelsea Clinton visited, often becomes waterlogged in the rainy season, polluting the water supply. Children used to drink untreated water from this pond.

Children used to drink untreated water from this pond in Gway Dauk Chaung village. (Photo: World Vision Myanmar)

Clinton toured the village with Dr. Greg Allgood, director of P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, and Win Zin Oo, World Vision’s director of humanitarian emergency affairs in Myanmar. They crossed a bamboo footbridge to reach Gway Dauk Chaung in western Myanmar. Children in brightly-colored native dress greeted Clinton with flowers.

Arriving in Gway Dauk Chaung, Chelsea Clinton was greeted by little girls dressed in their traditional Karen ethnic outfits. (Photo: World Vision Myanmar)

On this visit, Clinton and Allgood met Phaw Si Hser, 27, mother of three and expecting her fourth child, who told them that because of P&G's water purification program, “My children don’t get diarrhea anymore.”

Clinton and Allgood accompanied Hser and her husband as they collected water from the village pond using buckets.

Phaw Si Hser and her husband demonstrate to Chelsea and Greg how they take water for drinking from the village pond. (Photo: World Vision Myanmar)

They brought the water back to the village where Allgood, using the purification powder, began cleaning the water. P&G’s water purification technology uses a powder that can quickly clean up to 10 liters of contaminated water by removing viruses, bacteria, and parasites that can cause diarrhea.

Greg and Chelsea examine untreated pond water as Chelsea stirs water purification sachets into a container of water. (Photo: World Vision Myanmar)

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Greg and Chelsea watch water change, as sediments separate out because of water purification powder. (Photo: World Vision Myanmar)

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Chelsea is amazed as pure water emerges from the process. (Photo: World Vision Myanmar)

After sifting out the sediments…

Chelsea and Phar Si Hser's husband help Greg filter the purified bucket of water. (Photo: World Vision Myanmar)

…Clinton held up a cup of clear, clean water!

Before and after: Chelsea holds up a glass of purified water and a glass of untreated water. (Photo: World Vision Blog)

The children of the village prefer water this way, too; not only are they healthier, but purified water also tastes better!

Children from the village hold up purified drinking water. (Photo: World Vision Myanmar)

World Vision and P&G have been working together in Myanmar since 2008 when Cyclone Nargis contaminated or destroyed most water sources. World Vision, which has worked in the country since 1991, responded to the disaster with P&G by providing water purification sachets to remote villages.

“Frequently after disasters, it is clean water that is needed the most,” Clinton said. “So what World Vision is able to do, to ensure that it’s prepared for the disaster relief work, which is so critical, but also how building real, durable relationships with communities like where we are here, is a real testament to World Vision.

“Very few organizations are able to do both: to ensure that they’re working in a sustainable, systems-building way and responding to an urgent call when there’s been a rapid disaster.”

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