Making play possible

Children playing soccer in Peru

Deep in the rural hills beyond Sullana, Peru families make their homes on the high grounds above the banana farms and rice paddies. Children walk a few kilometers down dusty dirt roads to attend classes, and at the end of a warm winter’s day, return home for chores and more importantly, play.

Off with the school uniform and backpack, the boys at Martina's house throw on blue jerseys, lace up their cleats, and rush out the front door for a game of soccer. After designating a goalie, they all warm up by taking free kicks.

Martina looking outside of her window

Back at home, mothers like Martina prepare for dinner, but not before they take a moment to watch their children play. Fathers finish up work on the farms, eager to join their families for the evening.

Perhaps this sounds like an all too classic scenario of an age gone by, but for the families in Lancones,'s WaterCredit allows families to finance the construction of water taps, toilets, and bathrooms; simple solutions that give families the health and time for what many may take for granted.

Martina shared, "To have water and a bathroom in our home is a beautiful thing for my children...for their health, and safety, and privacy." Her children have big dreams. Of the six, two want to play professional soccer, and her youngest daughter Ana wants to be an artist.

Ana showing a picture she drew

Just as people around the world have financed a vehicle or house for their families, a loan to establish safe water or a toilet at home is the only way some of the world’s poor can get access to these basic necessities.’s WaterCredit puts the power of water directly into the hands of the people who need it. WaterCredit empowers the world’s poor with access to small loans for household water connections and toilets.

For Martina and her husband, financing these solutions is an investment in their family’s health and time. Finance is helping them break the cycle of poverty and create a cycle of opportunity for themselves – an opportunity to enhance their health, education and economic position. And at the end of the day, access to finance is helping them remove the obstacles that stand between their children and making health, and safety, and time to draw, and time to play soccer...possible.

This story was made possible by a generous grant from the Caterpillar Foundation

Capital: Lima
Population of 31.1 million
4 million lack access to safe water
7.5 million lack access to improved sanitation
8% of the total population lives on less than US$2 per day