Darrell Nelson fell in love with the people of the Philippines and now is committed to projects like biosand filter project that helps rural villagers get safe

Darrell Nelson fell in love with the people of the Philippines and now is committed to projects like biosand filter project that helps rural villagers get safe

Darrell Nelson: Giving back locally, globally

Darrell Nelson fell in love with the Philippines and is committed to projects that helps rural villagers get safe drinking water.

Chilliwack is a great place to call home. It’s close enough to the big city and yet its natural, rural surroundings allow you to feel as if life here is just a little less complicated. This is where Darrell Nelson grew up and lived for most of his life and later, as a local businessman, he gave back to his community. “In 1995, a partner and I brought on-line service to the Fraser Valley. We started NT Online and a couple of years later, we sold it to Dowco. I continued to work in the industry, as a professional web developer, until a couple of years ago,” he said.

Darrel’s sense of giving back started early in his childhood. His parents were his first teachers. His father worked for the highway department in Weyburn, Sask. In the late 60s, the family moved to Chilliwack.

“Dad worked part-time for highways here but then went to work for School District 33,” he said.

In 1975, his parents made the decision to attend Bible School in the U.S. and in 1976 they returned and became pastors in Abbotsford. By 1982, the year that Darrell married his wife Shannon, his parents left for the Philippines to work as missionaries. Fast forward to 2005 and Darrell, his father and son travelled to this tropical country of fascinating landscapes and Darrell fell in love with the people. A year later, he took his wife over and two years after that the couple sold their condo in Chilliwack, put their possessions in storage and moved over there. “The Filipino people are wonderful. They are so resilient no matter how poor they may be. They can be walking through a flood holding a pig over their head and they are still perfectly happy and are not asking why the government isn’t helping them. It’s a different mentality altogether and if people went to a third world country, it would change the way they see things,” he said passionately.

Back in Chilliwack for a family visit, Darrell misses his home in the Philippines and is concerned for the people in the wake of the typhoon that battered the country in early December, claiming lives and displacing millions of people but he will soon return to help however he can. “We had our trip already booked before the typhoon hit but fortunately we have terrific staff over there and they are continuing their great work,” he said.

The typhoon devastated whole villages swamped with sudden floods, triggering deadly landslides and wiping out crops. Aid in the form of food, water and emergency shelter is required in the worst-hit areas. Darrell’s organization, BSF Philippines, will be integral in specifically dealing with the water issue.

Millions of Filipinos have little choice but to drink water that is contaminated and inevitably, it makes them sick. BSF Philippines is a not-for-profit organization that is committed and dedicated to bringing safe drinking water to rural communities throughout the country.  “The goal is to bring clean water to every Filipino household. Each biosand water filter, which is what is used to clean the water, costs only $100 CDN. It is used in 72 countries and is recognized by the World Health Organization. Brown water that goes through this system comes out clean and any foul smell is removed from the water as well. For now, we’ll need to deal with getting enough clean water to the communities at large as a result of the typhoon but once the crisis subsides, we can continue our efforts to specifically deal with individual households,” he explained.

The biosand filter (BSF) is a simple technology that was developed in the 1990s at the University of Calgary by Dr. David Manz. The filter is an adaptation of the traditional slow-sand filter which has been used in community drinking water treatment for 200 years. The concrete device is filled with layers of specially selected and prepared sand and gravel and the end result is that it removes up to 97 per cent of the bacteria and 100 per cent of the parasites found in contaminated water.

BSF Philippines employs seven Filipino staff and they go out into the mountains to speak to the villagers about how they can help themselves by having the filters installed in their homes. “There isn’t a hand-out mentality. We allow people to solve their own problems. They need to be part of the process,” he said.

Living in a modest townhouse in Davao City, the third largest city in the Philippines, Darrell, Shannon and their staff work diligently and effectively in seeking support for the vital work that they do. “My time is spent speaking to government; corporations, foundations, Rotary and other organizations to garner their support. We are also forging relations with other organizations.”

One of the projects that Darrell will be working on shortly is to update his organization’s website www.bsfphilippines.com so that whenever a donation is made, donors can log-on to see how the filter that they have purchased has benefitted the community at large. “It’s important to see how your donation is making a difference,” he ended.

Just Posted

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
Student’s quote in Chilliwack high school yearbook equates graduation with end of slavery

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for missing 20-year-old woman

Police say Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months

RCMP seek dash-cam footage after Chilliwack road rage incident

Male driving a black pickup stopped and allegedly threatened to punch another driver

Doses prepared at pop-up vaccine clinic in Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood, in the M3N postal code, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. ( THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston)
4 vaccine clinics coming to Neighbourhood Learning Centre

Fraser Health made clinics ‘low-barrier’ meaning pre-registration not required

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Most Read