EARTH DAY: Restoring Wells With The Adventure Project

by: Jonathan Zoeteman

Hey Socality family! We're excited to be able to share with you an exciting way to celebrate Earth Day today and be a part of the Socality Restore Project this month. Our friends over at the Adventure Project are on their last day of a big project they've been working on, and we want to do our part in helping them reach their goal. 

The 1 Minute Version:

THE BASICS: We can be a part of helping The Adventure Project restore 6 more wells (58 have been restored so far!) in Uganda while also creating jobs for locals in the process. We think that's huge, and are excited to share this opportunity with you.

THE NEED: The Adventure Project is challenging 200 people to start a simple fundraiser to raise $100. That's 4 people donating $25 or 10 donating $10. We think it's totally doable. Message a few friends, share it on social media, and let's fix some wells and create jobs in the process.

We chatted with Becky Straw and Esther Havens from The Adventure Project team to get some more background on this project, the particular initiative, and a little background on the Adventure Project. 

What is The Adventure Project? 

We "add venture" by creating jobs in developing countries to move people out of poverty. We create jobs by giving people the tools, education and resources to become entrepreneurs. Our focus is to redirect charity toward jobs that lift people out of poverty while transforming local communities with improved health, decreased hunger, a safer environment and clean water. Stories, metrics, and more information can be found at www.theadventureproject.org.

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What's the big issue The Adventure Project is trying to tackle this month with this campaign? 

One-third of all wells are broken in Africa. Sadly, they usually break within the first few years because communities lack access to spare parts, tools and trained well mechanics.  

Our water projects are focused in the western region of Uganda in the Kamwenge and Kyegewa districts, bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Half a million people live in these two districts and poverty is widespread.

How did the campaign start? 

Diana, a water engineer, grew up in a small village in Western Uganda.  The only well in Diana’s village broke when she was four. It was then she thought, “When I grow up, I am going to solve this problem.”

Years later, we met Diana and began partnering with Water for People in Uganda.

Instead of drilling new wells, together we decided implement a pilot program to innovatively restore 64 broken wells by training people to become well mechanics - giving them the dignity of a job and the opportunity to serve their communities with lifesaving clean and safe water.

And it’s working.

One person in the community is recruited to become a well caretaker, collecting the fees and ensuring the water stays clean. If there's an issue, the caretaker calls the neighborhood well mechanic.

Broken wells are the reality from more than 50,000 communities in Africa - forcing communities to return to unsafe water sources.  Our hope is to bring this program to scale throughout Uganda, and then Africa.

How has the progress been so far? 

The success of the program is spreading, and three other districts in Uganda have requested this program in their communities. But before that can happen, we need to help Diana finish the pilot.

Today, 58 villages will have water restored – and 99 people have new jobs, thanks to Diana’s brains and our supporters generosity.  We have only six villages left still in need of a working well.

After all 64 wells are funded and restored, we’ll be able to share the results with local governments, nonprofits, missionaries, and anyone who believes it is important to keep wells working. They can take what we've learned and implement it in their communities - rippling to help millions of people.

A village well: before and after

A village well: before and after

We love that this project is restoring both wells and lives through job creation. How can WE all get involved and help?

Our goal for Earth Day is to restore water to six communities! We will be using the hashtag #LetsFixSix

People can sign up here: tapwater2015.causevox.com

We're challenging people to start a fundraiser to raise just $100. This can be by challenging four friends to pitch in $25/each or 10 friends to donate $10/each. 

If you can't donate, your social influence is just as powerful. Share about the campaign today through your social platforms or send a few friends a text and invite people to get involved. Together we can make this happen for 6 more communities in Uganda. 

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