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When we met Margarita Gonzales Castellon, a midwife in Columbus, Nicaragua, there were two major challenges she had to overcome.

The first was time. Many of the villages she has to reach are incredibly remote, so Margarita often travels for up to half a day to reach mums-to-be.

Her preferred method of transport in such difficult terrain? Her horse.

The second challenge facing Margarita was water. With no safe running water in many homes or at the community health centre, she was acutely aware of the dangers facing mums and the babies she was helping to deliver.


“We have many cases of diarrhoea here. It’s risky for pregnant women as their immune systems are weaker,” she told us.

“Dirty water can also infect the skin of a newborn baby. If the mother cleans the baby with dirty water, infections can happen easily.”

If there are complications during a delivery, the consequences can be serious. The journey to the nearest hospital takes three and a half hours – on a single bus that leaves on a Monday.

But today, at least one of the major challenges Margarita was facing has been solved.

Thanks to your incredible support, we’ve provided training for six members of her community, so they can build their own ecological toilets. Remarkably, 102 have already been installed.

Midwife Margarita with her daughter-in-law and granddaughter.
Margarita with her daughter-in-law Lucia and granddaughter, who she helped to deliver.

Not only that, but we’re also working with local partners to set up a rainwater harvesting system and a gravity flow scheme, which will pump safe water directly into people’s homes.

That won’t just make daily life easier and safer. It will also give midwives like Margarita the peace of mind that they’ll be attending births with clean, safe water – making a life-changing moment truly magical for new mums.

Meet more remarkable women changing lives around the world >