Update from a dusty van about clean water.

by beckystraw on July 7, 2013

Hello from Uganda!

I’m writing from the back of a very dusty van. Every 30 minutes I have to wipe the red dust off my keyboard (I’m sure it’s great for my computer). I probably should just close down and let my mind wander… but I can’t. Maybe I’m inspired or excited – I can’t figure out how to feel. I just know that I want to help, terribly. My mind keeps repeating, “This is it.”

So while I’m here, I thought I’d write an update and ask for help in joining us this July.

Today I met Monday. He has seven kids, which made me wonder if his goal was to cover every day of the week. But then he and his wife adopted one more child, Shelia, when she became orphaned last year. Shelia’s seven, and when she grows up she’d like to be a chef. Monday operates the only well in his village. There were four more, but they all broke. His well was broken too, until he fixed it.

When all the wells were down, the village lined up at a sinkhole, a muddy pool of water. I asked Monday if he had a story of a child who got sick. He shook his head and said, “I don’t have one story. Too many died to tell only one.”  He knew he needed to do something, for his kids’ sake and for all the kids in his village. So, he decided to use his own savings to finance the rehabilitation. He’s now the villages first well mechanic.

The well is a short walk from his house, down a small valley where cows graze and schoolchildren race down the hill. (A few photos of Monday and his kids, attached).

As many of you know, I have spent a few years working in the water sector. I’ve been a part of amazing moments and heartbreak, too. Nothing is more humbling (and tear-jerking) than watching a village get clean water for the first time. Life can truly start when you have clean water.

So when it’s snuffed out, it feels like being stabbed in the stomach. At least that’s how I feel whenever a visit a village with a broken well and see kids return to drinking from a swamp. I’ve seen it, been responsible for it, and am haunted by it. So for the last few years I’ve been determined to do something about it.

This is it.

TAP wants to help pilot the program in 30 villages this year. Wells will be fixed, fitted with a water meter and a well mechanic will be trained. We need to raise $150K to fully fund the 30 wells that need repair and a mechanic.

A videographer heard the story and agreed to pay his own way to film a short piece (he’s here with me, now). We will release the video in two weeks (Monday July 22nd) and hope it spurs giving and compassionate action. We are also working on finding donors to match gifts and will soon announce a partnership with One Day’s Wages.

We need your help. Our goal is to find 300 people willing to join us in fundraising and sharing the video. Imagine what’s possible if each of us raise $500…we would meet our goal. Whatever you can offer to help with, we would love for you join us. Thank you to those who have signed up and been fundraising already!

You can sign up now on the blue button (“Become a Fundraiser” button. Takes about two minutes): www.theadventureproject.org/water The page will be updated with new photos and the video, once we’re back from the field next week.

For those that sign up, I will keep you updated before the launch of the video and the matching gift opportunity. Let me know if you have questions or ideas.

It’s incredibly exciting to have a front seat at the start of something innovative. Something with the potential to ensure sustainable access to clean water. And for the potential of creating thousands of jobs for water entrepreneurs across Africa, to help fix the 50,000 wells that are currently broken. Let’s bring more Monday’s into this world.

I hope you join us.



PS: Here’s the link again to join or donate: www.theadventureproject.org/water

Mondayhair dresserSheliateacher


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